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Interesting Recent Mental Health Research

 

Interesting new research on heart rate variability, the critical role of relationship improvement to improving mental health symptoms, and how combining exercise with social support can be a strategy to reduce symptoms of depression.

Ambulatory Heart Rate Variability in Schizophrenia or Depression: Impact of Anticholinergic Burden and Other Factors

Bengtsson J, Olsson E, Igelström H, Persson J, Bodén R. Ambulatory Heart Rate Variability in Schizophrenia or Depression: Impact of Anticholinergic Burden and Other Factors. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021 Feb 13. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000001356. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33605645.

Overview:

  • “Heart rate variability (HRV) has been found reduced in patients with schizophrenia and depression. However, there is a lack of knowledge on how demographic, lifestyle, and pharmacological factors contribute to the reduction in HRV in these patients.”
  • “We show for the first time that a quantified score of anticholinergic burden of medication has a negative relationship to HRV in patients with schizophrenia or depression, but that the diagnoses themselves still exhibit an effect on HRV.”

Predicting change through individual symptoms and relationship distress: A study of within- and between-person processes in couple therapy

Tilden T, Ulvenes P, Zahl-Olsen R, Hoffart A, Johnsen SU, Wampold BE, Håland ÅT. Predicting change through individual symptoms and relationship distress: A study of within- and between-person processes in couple therapy. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2021 Feb 19. doi: 10.1002/cpp.2575. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33605519.

Overview:

  • “In couple therapy clients often suffer from a blend of individual psychiatric symptoms as well as severe relational distress. However, research is inconclusive on whether relational change predicts symptom change or vice versa. Because answers to this question could have important clinical implications on what to focus on in couple therapy at which time in treatment, more research is recommended.”
  • “The clinical implication is discussed, suggesting that an emphasis on relational improvement seems to be an important mechanism during couple therapy that may facilitate the change on individual symptoms in the long run.”

Depressive symptoms in older adults: the role of physical activity and social support

Moya CAM, Soares FC, Lima RA, de Barros MVG, Bezerra J. Depressive symptoms in older adults: the role of physical activity and social support. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. 2021 Feb 15:S2237-60892021005002204. doi: 10.47626/2237-6089-2020-0093. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33605373.

Overview:

  • “This was a cross-sectional study involving 399 older adults seen at basic health units in the municipality of Recife, state of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil. Linear regression was implemented using the forward method to assess the association between PA and its domains and depressive symptoms, as well as to test the possible moderating component of social support in this association.”
  • Older adults with social support and who practiced physical activity (PA), especially domestic and total PA, presented the lowest scores of depressive symptoms. The data showed the importance of providing elements to strengthen social support and PA practice in older adults living in poor communities as a strategy to prevent and reduce depressive symptoms.

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