Vol 2-4 Mini Review

Improving the Methodological Quality of Single-Case Experimental Design Meta-Analysis

Laleh Jamshidi1*, Lies Declercq1, John M. Ferron2, Mariola Moeyaert3, S. Natasha Beretvas4, and Wim Van den Noortgate1

1Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences & imec-Itec, KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium

2University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA

3University at Albany – State University of New York, New York, USA

4University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA

Single-case experimental design (SCED) studies are becoming more prevalent in a variety of different fields and are increasingly included in meta-analyses (MAs) and systematic reviews (SRs). As MA/SR’s conclusions are used as an evidence base for making decisions in practice and policy, the methodological quality and reporting standards of SRs/MAs are of uttermost importance. One way to improve the reliability and validity of SCED MAs and therefore to provide more confidence in MA/SR findings to practitioners and clinicians to decide on a particular intervention is the use of high-quality standards when conducting and reporting MAs/SRs. In the current study, some existing tools for assessing the quality of SRs/MAs that might also be helpful for SCED MAs will be reviewed briefly. These tools and guidelines can help meta-analysts, reviewers, and users to organize and evaluate the quality and reliability of the findings.

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Vol 2-3 Mini Review

The Deep Evolutionary Roots of 'Addiction'

Moira J van Staaden1,2*, F Scott Hall1,3 and Robert Huber1,2

1Juvatech creative behavioral designs, Maumee, OH 43537, USA

2JP Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind & Behavior, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA

3Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA

Addiction is now recognized as a phenomenon with exceedingly deep evolutionary roots. Addictive plant alkaloids, as secondary metabolites, evolved primarily to counter insect herbivory. Although some views regard addiction as a human/mammal specific, cognitive phenomenon, we suggest that its roots are found in much more fundamental biological mechanisms for learning and motivation, mechanisms which are shared by taxa since the early evolution of bilateral metazoans. According to this view, addiction is fundamentally an invertebrate phenomenon and humans can be viewed as collateral damage in this coevolutionary arms race. Results from a variety of invertebrate preparations demonstrate behavioral and neural consequences of drug exposure, ranging from psychostimulant properties and sensitization, to conditioned cue learning and operant self-administration. This mini review focuses attention on our recent work in crayfish, but there is certainly evidence for the presence of addictionlike phenomena in more ancient invertebrate taxa.

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Vol 2-4 Mini Review

Is Schizophrenia Disappearing? The Rise and Fall of the Diagnosis of Functional Psychoses: an Essay

Per Bergsholm*

Department of Psychiatry, District General Hospital of Førde, Box 1000, 6807, Førde, Norway

The category diagnosis of functional psychoses builds on views of influential professionals. Until the second half of the 1800s, the conceptions of mania and melancholia from the Greek antiquity included largely all functional psychoses. Disturbed mood and energy were central symptoms, and the idea of unitary psychosis prevailed. From the 1900s this was followed by a dichotomy between schizophrenia and affective psychoses and broadening of the schizophrenia concept. Affective symptoms were strongly downgraded. Many psychoses with mixed features were described, and there have now long been four main categories of functional psychoses – affective, schizophrenic, schizoaffective/cycloid/reactive/polymorphic, and delusional/paranoid psychoses. The last three are included in “psychotic disorders”. The boundaries between categories have varied with time, place and professionals’ views. DSM-5 is updated with separate chapters for catatonia and psychotic symptoms, both unspecific, and removal of the subtypes of schizophrenia. However, time may be running out for categorical psychosis diagnoses, which may be replaced by continuum, spectrum, dimensional and research domain criteria. Affective symptoms are often difficult to acknowledge, diagnosis is often done on the basis of preconceptions, and patients’ affect characterized accordingly. Chronic mood disorders may appear as schizophrenic or paranoid psychosis, end-stages like heart failure in heart diseases. This underscores the importance of early and optimal treatment of mood disorders, which may be the most important cause of schizophrenia and other functional psychoses.

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Vol 2-4 Original Research Article

A Peer-Support Mental Health Response Training for LGBTQIA+ Adolescents

Megan Chernosky*

University in Louisville, Kentucky, USA

This paper will discuss the correlation between participation in a mental health peer-support training and adolescents’ self-reported feelings of preparedness to deal with mental health crises. The paper will focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other non-heterosexual, non-cisgender youth (LGBTQIA+) between the ages of 13 and 21 years old. The study used a quantitative, written survey with eighteen questions before the intervention, and another with five questions after the intervention. The study originally involved eleven participants, but the number of participants decreased to seven dues to attrition. The intervention was administered to every participant. The data were analyzed to find the averages and standard deviations for each category. The results found that the average preparedness increased after the intervention. Due to lack of a control group, the researcher was not able to determine causation, but they were able to determine correlation. The researcher concluded that there was a short-term increase in feelings of preparedness to deal with crises in correlation with receiving the mental health training.

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Vol 2-4 Mini Review

Concept and Results of the German Research Network on Schizophrenia

Wolfgang Wölwer1*, Gerhard Buchkremer2, Heinz Häfner3, Joachim Klosterkötter4, Wolfgang Maier5, Hans-Jürgen Möller6, Wolfgang Gaebel1

1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, LVR Klinikum Düsseldorf, Germany

2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Tübingen, Germany

3Research Group Schizophrenia Research, Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim, Germany

4Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Cologne, Germany

5Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Bonn, Germany

6Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Munich, Germany

Background: The German Research Network on Schizophrenia (GRNS) was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) from 1999 to 2011. The aim was to obtain a better horizontal and vertical networking of German research and care facilities on schizophrenia, in order to investigate open research questions, to transfer the results into clinical practice and after all to improve care and quality of life in patients with schizophrenia.

Objectives / Methods: This paper describes the concept and functioning of the GRNS as well as its results on the basis of selected research projects.

Results: The GRNS comprised about 25 clinical trials of high practical relevance, which were closely interrelated regarding content, methodology and organization. The trials primarily served the development and evaluation of new and established diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, the assessment of the status quo of clinical care as well as its improvement, together with the investigation of basic scientific questions. Many substantial results to highly relevant issues could be obtained, which led or will lead to an improvement in mental health care.

Conclusions: Quantitative and qualitative evaluation parameters such as scientific publications and raising of additional grants, as well as promotion of young scientists, public relations activities, congress activities and foundation of the European Scientific Association on Schizophrenia and other Psychoses (ESAS) prove the successful work of the network. The successful grant raising will allow continuing cooperative schizophrenia research in Germany as initiated by the GRNS.

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Vol 2-4 Mini Review

"On the Economic Concept of Mental Health: A Probing Inquiry", an Author's Review

Pablo Levín*

Faculty of Economics, University of Buenos Aires (FCE/UBA), Argentina

Both this mini-review and the reviewed article were composed by this author (an economist), to probe into the ample but as yet hardly explored interface between two disciplines (Psychiatry and Political Economy) that have mostly grown heretofore with their backs turned to each other. In facing such a very large and complex almost newfound interdisciplinary field –itself a decisive step towards the integration of an all-encompassing philosophy of culture; a full systematic discussion is neither to be announced nor expected. At some point however our statements may appear apodictic in form and emphatic in tone; but please bear in mind that these excesses are just meant to make our point. Our purpose is to call for further discussion, with a serious caveat as to the danger entailed in interdisciplinary conversation, of begetting still another syncretic contraption.

We hopefully feel instead, that this abridged version comes closer than the earlier article; to the desideratum of a synthetic concept; potentially impinging upon: i.e., constituting; the vast area where these two disciplines overlap; by developing the concept of a "triple culture aporia (TCA)" -as a theoretical archetype for Ideology.

The TCA concept has to saddle over upon the interdisciplinary boundaries we’re here concerned with; shedding new light on the absolute originality of today’s human condition. To make this clearer, we should bring forth the concept of historical heteronomy, to wit, contemporary human’s self-inflicted incapacity for becoming our own full- fledged contemporaries. In a nutshell: chronologic contemporariness is given to us as a matter of fact; but prevailing institutionalized education falls short from –or indeed systematically precludes; preparing us to raise ourselves up to present historical contemporaneity; to confront its exigencies, to reap its high rewards; the latter being the utmost specifically human aspiration!

It is our deep conviction, that a (the?) main source of our individual distresses and sufferings –included those that bring us as patients to the psychiatrist’s office; are to be sought among our failures in our quest for Bildung; not constrained into its xviii enlightenment still incipient notion; but open to its urgently needed updated concept…which is what this review is about.

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