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Flynn D.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Smith D.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Quirke L.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Monks S.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | And 2 more authors.
BMC Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Background: The ultra high risk state for psychosis has not been studied in young offender populations. Prison populations have higher rates of psychiatric morbidity and substance use disorders. Due to the age profile of young offenders one would expect to find a high prevalence of individuals with pre-psychotic or ultra-high risk mental states for psychosis (UHR). Accordingly young offender institutions offer an opportunity for early interventions which could result in improved long term mental health, social and legal outcomes. In the course of establishing a mental health in-reach service into Ireland's only young offender prison, we sought to estimate unmet mental health needs.Methods: Every third new committal to a young offenders prison was interviewed using the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) to identify the Ultra High Risk (UHR) state and a structured interview for assessing drug and alcohol misuse according to DSM-IV-TR criteria, the Developmental Understanding of Drug Misuse and Dependence - Short Form (DUNDRUM-S).Results: Over a twelve month period 171 young male offenders aged 16 to 20 were assessed. Of these 39 (23%, 95% confidence interval 18% to 30%) met UHR criteria. UHR states peaked at 18 years, were associated with lower SOFAS scores for social and occupational function and were also associated with multiple substance misuse. The relationship with lower SOFAS scores persisted even when co-varying for multiple substance misuse.Conclusions: Although psychotic symptoms are common in community samples of children and adolescents, the prevalence of the UHR state in young offenders was higher than reported for community samples. The association with impaired function also suggests that this may be part of a developing disorder. Much more attention should be paid to the relationship of UHR states to substance misuse and to the health needs of young offenders. © 2012 Flynn et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

O'Dwyer S.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Davoren M.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Abidin Z.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Doyle E.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | And 3 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2011

Background: Moving a forensic mental health patient from one level of therapeutic security to a lower level or to the community is influenced by more than risk assessment and risk management. We set out to construct and validate structured professional judgement instruments for consistency and transparency in decision making. Methods. Two instruments were developed, the seven-item DUNDRUM-3 programme completion instrument and the six item DUNDRUM-4 recovery instrument. These were assessed for all 95 forensic patients at Ireland's only forensic mental health hospital. Results: The two instruments had good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.911 and 0.887). Scores distinguished those allowed no leave or accompanied leave from those with unaccompanied leave (ANOVA F = 38.1 and 50.3 respectively, p < 0.001). Scores also distinguished those in acute/high security units from those in medium or in low secure/pre-discharge units. Each individual item distinguished these levels of need significantly. The DUNDRUM-3 and DUNDRUM-4 correlated moderately with measures of dynamic risk and with the CANFOR staff rated unmet need (Spearman r = 0.5, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The DUNDRUM-3 programme completion items distinguished significantly between levels of therapeutic security while the DUNDRUM-4 recovery items consistently distinguished those given unaccompanied leave outside the hospital and those in the lowest levels of therapeutic security. This data forms the basis for a prospective study of outcomes now underway. © 2011 Kennedy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rani S.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Mulholland F.,National Forensic Mental Health Service
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing | Year: 2014

Participating in purposeful and structured daily activities is an important factor contributing to the health and well-being of forensic service users. A survey was carried out in an Irish forensic mental health setting to identify whether service users meet the standard of 25-h weekly activities, a standard set by the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services, London. The findings indicate that 57 (61%) out of 93 service users fully meet the criteria. Furthermore, service users within the medium- and low-security environments appear to be engaging to an increased number of structured activities in comparison to those in acute units. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Donnelly V.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Lynch A.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Mohan D.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Mohan D.,Trinity College Dublin | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Mental Health Systems | Year: 2011

Background: There is some evidence that when mental health commitment hearings are held in accordance with therapeutic jurisprudence principles they are perceived as less coercive, and more just in their procedures leading to improved treatment adherence and fewer hospital readmissions. This suggests an effect of the hearing on therapeutic relationships. We compared working alliance and interpersonal trust in clinicians and forensic patients, whose continued detentions were reviewed by two different legal review bodies according to their legal category.Methods: The hearings were rated as positive or negative by patients and treating psychiatrists using the MacArthur scales for perceived coercion, perceived procedural justice (legal and medical) and for the impact of the hearing. We rated Global assessment of Function (GAF), Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) and Interpersonal Trust in Physician (ITP) scales six months before the hearing and repeated the WAI and ITP two weeks before and two weeks after the hearing, for 75 of 83 patients in a forensic medium and high secure hospital.Results: Psychiatrists agreed with patients regarding the rating of hearings. Patients rated civil hearings (MHTs) more negatively than hearings under insanity legislation (MHRBs). Those reviewed by MHTs had lower scores for WAI and ITP. However, post-hearing WAI and ITP scores were not different from baseline and pre-hearing scores. Using the receiver operating characteristic, baseline WAI and ITP scores predicted how patients would rate the hearings, as did baseline GAF and PANSS scores.Conclusions: There was no evidence that positively perceived hearings improved WAI or ITP, but some evidence showed that negatively perceived hearings worsened them. Concentrating on functional recovery and symptom remission remains the best strategy for improved therapeutic relationships. © 2011 Donnelly et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Davoren M.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Davoren M.,Trinity College Dublin | Abidin Z.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | Naughton L.,National Forensic Mental Health Service | And 5 more authors.
BMC Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Background: We set out to examine whether structured professional judgement instruments DUNDRUM-3 programme completion (D-3) and DUNDRUM-4 recovery (D-4) scales along with measures of risk, mental state and global function could distinguish between those forensic patients detained in a secure forensic hospital (not guilty by reason of insanity or unfit to stand trial) who were subsequently discharged by a mental health review board. We also examined the interaction between these measures and risk, need for therapeutic security and eventual conditional discharge.Methods: A naturalistic observational cohort study was carried out for 56 patients newly eligible for conditional discharge. Patients were rated using the D-3, D-4 and other scales including HCR-20, S-RAMM, START, SAPROF, PANSS and GAF and then observed over a period of twenty three months during which they were considered for conditional discharge by an independent Mental Health Review Board.Results: The D-3 distinguished which patients were subsequently discharged by the Mental Health Review board (AUC = 0.902, p < 0.001) as did the D-4 (AUC = 0.848, p < 0.001). Item to outcome analysis showed each item of the D-3 and D-4 scales performed significantly better than random. The HCR-20 also distinguished those later discharged (AUC = 0.838, p < 0.001) as did the S-RAMM, START, SAPROF, PANSS and GAF. The D-3 and D-4 scores remained significantly lower (better) for those discharged even when corrected for the HCR-20 total score. Item to outcome analyses and logistic regression analysis showed that the strongest antecedents of discharge were the GAF and the DUNDRUM-3 programme completion scores.Conclusions: Structured professional judgement instruments should improve the quality, consistency and transparency of clinical recommendations and decision making at mental health review boards. Further research is required to determine whether the DUNDRUM-3 programme completion and DUNDRUM-4 recovery instruments predict those who are or are not recalled or re-offend after conditional discharge. © 2013 Davoren et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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