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Welcome to the February 2017
CPD Online eNewsletter
A reminder that nearly two-thirds of our 195 modules have been
either published or updated/reviewed within the past 2 years. Our
aim is to continue publishing regular new content, whilst updating
even more of our existing modules. We are delighted to
provide so much up-to-date and
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By Dr Stuart Leask, CPD Online Editor
The Christmas period is an ambiguous time for
many of us. A chance to briefly relax the pressures on our
shoulders from the myriad Sisyphean tasks that beset us as
healthcare professionals, assisted by a brief lightening of the
national mood at this dark time of year? Certainly.
However, also a time of reflection, for many, that our current
situation perhaps doesn't match the colourful memories of
Christmas past. The population wakes the next day with a collective
hangover: credit-card bills, as well as the broader appreciation
that the future for our children might, for the first time in
centuries perhaps, not necessarily be brighter than the past.
As mental healthcare professionals, of course,
we can recognise in these reflections not depression, but
pragmatism. For all of our patients, whatever situation they are in
is whatever situation they are in, and our task is not to solve
every conundrum, but simply to support them in moving from a
position of feeling stuck, to moving on once more, in whatever
direction, and at whatever speed, they can manage. It is this
realism that daily protects us from a sense of futility.
CPD Online, similarly, does not offer counsels
of perfection, but rather concise, compact reminders of where we as
professionals have got to, and tips from the experienced on where
things are heading next. Having signed up to a - challenging,
but fascinating - lifetime of learning, we at the College hope that
this resource will help all of us move on from the mire of
Christmas excess... especially those sticky puddings... and jog on,
hopefully, into 2017. We have new modules in a variety of subjects,
from cultural psychiatry to
health anxiety. Relax. After all, we
are slowly, all of us, getting better at this!
Health anxiety: Part 1 – concept, prevalence and
Many psychiatrists are unaware of the nature of health anxiety
and its significance to the morbidity and behaviour of people who
suffer from it. This module shows how health anxiety is
often hidden in practice, how it develops and is
maintained, and how it can be detected, as well as giving some
details of its prevalence.
Health anxiety: Part 2 – cognitive-behavioural
Health anxiety is generally badly managed in ordinary practice
as practitioners tend to be more concerned with excluding disease
than with identifying abnormal concerns and intervening
appropriately. This second module explains how practitioners with
little previous knowledge of cognitive-behavioural therapy can
successfully give this intervention and maintain its value in the
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is now
widely recognised as a major cause of distress and suffering
following traumatic events. This module introduces the
different biological, psychological and social models of PTSD
in adults. It also provides up-to-date information
on the epidemiology of PTSD and outlines steps to help prevent
and treat the condition.
Feeling better – lifestyle
management for chronic mental disorders
People with chronic mental health problems may be particularly
vulnerable to impaired physical health and poor lifestyle choices.
The aim of this module is to familiarise all clinicians treating
patients with chronic severe mental disorders with a systematic and
practical approach towards the diagnosis of lifestyle-associated
physical health problems and potential treatment strategies.
Can heating the
body relieve depression?
A 2016 study led by Dr Charles Raison found that raising the
body temperature of depressed volunteers through whole-body
hyperthermia treatment improved their symptoms of major depression
for up to 6 weeks. In this podcast Dr Raison talks to Raj Persaud
about how the treatment works, the effect it has on the brain, and
how these findings could be built upon in future research.
for the offspring of depressed
The increased risk of psychological problems in the children of
depressed parents has been widely studied, but less is known about
their long-term outcomes. In this podcast, Professor Myrna Weissman
talks to Raj Persaud about the results of a 30-year follow-up study
into the biological offspring of depressed parents.
View our most popular modules and podcasts
Highlights of the January
Diagnosis and treatment: are psychiatrists
Choosing Wisely campaigns aim to address
the pressing problem of overuse (i.e. overdiagnosis and
overtreatment) in healthcare. Maughan & James provide a
critical review of why overuse might occur and discuss whether such
campaigns, including that of the Royal College of Psychiatrists,
are likely to be successful.
Malingering mental disorders: clinical
Rix & Tracy explore types of
psychiatric malingering and discuss presentations that may help
delineate true from feigned illness. They give an assessment
framework for when malingering is suspected, and consider the uses,
and limitations, of psychometric tests, including ‘general’,
malingering-specific and ‘symptom validity’ scales.
We are always keen to hear your ideas for new module and podcast
topics. Information about writing for CPD Online can be viewed on
our Contribute page.
If you are interested in contributing or if you would like to
make a topic suggestion, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Spread the word to your junior colleagues: CPD Online's
sister site Trainees Online (TrOn) is a
great resource and revision tool for trainees preparing for their
MRCPsych exams. It is currently free to access for trainees and
other College Members.
Did you know current CPD Online subscribers are eligible for a
heavily discounted rate on the British Association for
Psychopharmacology's Online CPD resource? See your My CPD Online
page for details.
Subscribe to or
renew with CPD Online – subscriptions can start from
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With best wishes,
The CPD Online Team
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