• The clinical effectiveness of a brief consultation and advisory approach compared to treatment as usual in child and adolescent mental health services.

      McGarry, Joan; McNicholas, Fiona; Buckley, Hannah; Kelly, Brendan D; Atkin, Louise; Ross, Niamh; Lucena CAMHS, County Wicklow, Ireland. joan.mcgarry@sjog.ie (Sage Publications, 2008-07)
      A brief consultation and advice (BCA) approach to dealing with routine referrals was introduced into a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) over an 18-month period. This is a time-limited, client-centred and solution-focused approach to dealing with common non-complex referrals. The model proposes that all families are seen for an initial 'consultation' appointment followed by a maximum of two further appointments. A randomized controlled study compared the clinical effectiveness of BCA treatment with treatment as usual (TAU) over a 6-month period. The parents of children referred to CAMHS were eligible to participate if their child was deemed 'non-complex'. Ethical approval was granted by the relevant ethics committee. Families who consented to participate in the study were randomly allocated to either the BCA or TAU group. Sixty children enrolled in the study. Both groups showed improvements on a number of variables at 3 months post treatment, but only those receiving BCA showed continued improvement at 6 months. Participants in both groups showed high levels of satisfaction with the treatment received. Participants in the TAU group expressed dissatisfaction with long waiting times and had a higher drop out rate than the BCA treatment group. During the time frame studied, the introduction of the BCA approach did not lead to a decrease in overall mean waiting time. These results and the usefulness of a BCA model are discussed.
    • Looked after children in Dublin and their mental health needs.

      McNicholas, F; O'Connor, N; Bandyopadhyay, G; Doyle, P; O'Donovan, A; Belton, M; Lucena Clinic, 59 Orwell Rd, Rathgar, Dublin 6. fiona.mcnicholas@sjog.ie (2011-04)
      Children in care in Ireland have increased by 27% in the last decade. This population is recognized to be among the most vulnerable. This study aims to describe their placement histories, service use and mental health needs. Data was obtained on 174 children (56.5% of eligible sample) with a mean age of 10.83 (SD = 5.04). 114 (65.5%) were in care for three years or more. 29 (16.7%) did not have a SW and 49 (37.7%) had no GP 50 (28.7%) were attending CAMHS. Long term care, frequent placement changes and residential setting were significantly related with poorer outcomes and increased MH contact. Given the increase in numbers in care and the overall decrease in resource allocation to health and social care, individual care planning and prioritizing of resources are essential.
    • Parent information evenings: filling a gap in Irish child and adolescent mental health services?

      McNicholas, F; Lennon, R; Coakley, S; Doyle, P; O'Connor, N; McCourt, M; Byrne, G (2010-02)
      It is estimated that 20% of children experience psychological problems at any one time. 1 Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Ireland are under-resourced. Recent economic downturn has hindered the possibility of increased funding to alleviative these deficits. It is now imperative that mental health professionals create innovative and cost effective solutions to promote positive mental health. Recent literature has focused on the benefits of self delivered parenting programmes, with minimal costs incurred. 2,3 Based on the developing evidence supporting self directed approaches, the Lucena Foundation has initiated a series of parent information evenings. These evenings are offered on a monthly basis, and are free to attend. To date 1,538 parents have attended. Feedback from parents has been very positive with 80.5% of them finding them useful or very useful.
    • The therapeutic relationship after psychiatric admission.

      Roche, Eric; Madigan, Kevin; Lyne, John P; Feeney, Larkin; O'Donoghue, Brian; Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Service, Dublin, Ireland; †St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; and ‡Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. (2014-03)
      The therapeutic relationship is one of the most central and important factors in the treatment of mental health disorders. A better therapeutic relationship is associated with service engagement, medication adherence, and satisfaction with services. This study aimed to compare the demographic and clinical factors associated with the therapeutic relationship in voluntarily and involuntarily admitted psychiatric service users. We found that individuals who had been admitted involuntarily, who had a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder, and who reported higher levels of perceived pressures on admission were more likely to have a poorer therapeutic relationship with their consultant psychiatrist. Greater levels of insight and treatment satisfaction, together with higher levels of procedural justice experienced on admission, were associated with a better therapeutic relationship. We found that the level of perceived coercion on admission was not related to the therapeutic relationship. Targeted interventions to improve the therapeutic relationship, particularly for involuntarily admitted service users, are discussed.