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Examination of physician factors influencing psychiatric assessment of acutely suicidal patients

Chacko, Mason; Job, Asha; Kim, Diane J; Peter Hong, Houlin; Fontecha-Hernandez, Jeisson; Durand, Dante; Hasan, Abdullah; Cáceda, Ricardo
Suicide risk assessment is a subjective process and remains a clinical challenge in psychiatry. We aimed to examine physicians' characteristics that influence management of acutely suicidal patients. In a cross-sectional design, we performed an anonymous internet survey of psychiatry residents and attendings from four academic centers. Gender, years of experience, practice setting, prior patient suicide, and personal exposure to suicide were characterized. Participants were presented with three clinical vignettes and asked to rate suicide risk and clinical disposition. The relationship between responses to the vignettes and physician characteristics were examined with generalized linear models. Fifty-four residents and 49 attendings completed the survey. Four (7%) residents and 24 (49%) attendings had patients die by suicide, whereas 32 (59%) and 36 (74%), respectively, knew somebody outside their practice who died by suicide. Among residents, lower rating of acute suicide risk was associated with prior exposure to non-patient suicide. Less hospitalization chosen by attendings was associated with greater perceived difficulty of suicide risk assessment. In the combined resident and attending sample, less proneness to hospitalize was associated with number of previous patients die by suicide and with outpatient practice. Our results suggest that previous exposure to suicide is associated with more risk-averse management.
PMID: 33486272
ISSN: 1872-7123
CID: 5102782

Examination of Factors Influencing Psychiatrists' Assessment of Acutely Suicidal Patients in Various Clinical Settings [Meeting Abstract]

Chacko, Mason; Kim, Diane; Narine, Serah; Fontecha-Hernandez, Jeisson; Durand, Dante; Caceda, Ricardo
ISSN: 0006-3223
CID: 4590392

Electroconvulsive therapy in a 96-year-old patient with severe aortic stenosis: a case report and review of the literature [Case Report]

O'Reardon, John P; Cristancho, Mario A; Cristancho, Pilar; Fontecha, Jeisson F; Weiss, David
We report the safe administration of a course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in a 96-year-old woman with severe aortic stenosis. The patient experienced a relapse of her severe depression when ECT had been withheld because of increased concerns regarding medical risk given her age and degree of aortic stenosis. Reassessment of the case confirmed severe stenosis with a valve area of 0.5 cm2 and a peak pressure gradient across the valve of 110 mm Hg. The ventricular ejection was normal at 70% however, and after a careful weighing of the risk of ECT treatment versus the risk of withholding ECT, it was decided to proceed with ECT in this case. In the event, ECT was very well tolerated by the patient, and she experienced a full remission of symptoms. She continues to receive maintenance ECT successfully at a once-per-month frequency. This case illustrates that neither age nor aortic stenosis by itself precludes ECT in the setting of severe depression. Rather, in each case, a careful weighing of the risks both of proceeding with and withholding ECT is warranted.
PMID: 18379343
ISSN: 1095-0680
CID: 4590382

rTMS in headache prophylaxis: When case reports hide our ignorance - Response [Letter]

O\Reardon, John P.; Fontecha, Jeisson F.; Cristancho, Mario A.
ISSN: 1092-8529
CID: 4590402

Unexpected reduction in migraine and psychogenic headaches following rTMS treatment for major depression: a report of two cases [Case Report]

O'Reardon, John P; Fontecha, Jeisson F; Cristancho, Mario A; Newman, Suzanne
Our objective is to report a coincident reduction in headache pain in patients treated with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for major depressive disorder (MDD). Two patients with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition diagnosis of MDD, non-responsive to prior antidepressant treatment who were enrolled in a sham-controlled, double-blind study of rTMS for MDD. After the study, it was revealed that both were in the active-treatment arm. Both patients suffered from near daily headaches and kept logs of headache frequency and severity before, during, and after the study. Headache pain was significantly reduced under double-blind conditions with rTMS treatment, but returned to baseline following cessation of rTMS treatment. Ultimately, when receiving rTMS post-study as a maintenance intervention for MDD (approximately 2 rTMS sessions/week), the positive effects on headache amelioration were sustained. Headache pain is frequently comorbid with mood disorders and has been reported as the most common side effect with rTMS. In these subjects, rTMS was, in fact, associated with relief of depressive symptoms and preexisting headache pain. This indicates that rTMS may be beneficial for both disorders in some patients.
PMID: 18163038
ISSN: 1092-8529
CID: 4590372