Browsing by Author "Phahladira, Lebogang"
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- ItemThe clinical course and outcomes of first episode psychosis : a study of the acute, medium and long-term outcomes in a cohort rigorously treated in the early phase of illness(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Phahladira, Lebogang; Emsley, Robin; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dept. of Psychiatry.ENGLISH SUMMARY: The period surrounding the first episode of psychosis represents a critical period in the natural course of the illness. There are several studies on the nature of the clinical presentation, the effects of treatment, course, and the outcome of the illness. However, there remain several knowledge gaps. This PhD sought to address some of those gaps. The overall aim was to assess the acute, medium- and long-term clinical and functional outcomes of participants with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders who received intensive treatment with a long-acting injectable antipsychotic over a period of 24 months. We reported a well-established finding that psychotic symptoms in patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders respond well to antipsychotic treatment. Overall, outcomes were favourable, with 70% achieving symptom remission, 56% functional remission and 61% rating their quality of life as good or excellent (although only 29% met all three of our criteria for recovery simultaneously). Symptom remission may be an important stepping stone to recovery, insofar as very few patients (9%) who did not achieve symptom remission were able to achieve functional remission and a good subjective quality. Our finding on longitudinal assessment of changes in insight was that in contrast to clinicianrated insight, significant impairments in patient-rated insight persisted despite assured treatment. This suggests that insight impairment is more trait- than state-related. We found that depressive symptoms during the early phase of illness are intrinsic to psychosis and responded well to antipsychotic treatment. Regarding negative symptoms, we replicated the two-factor structure, namely an experiential and an expressive domain, although the two subdomains appear closely related rather than being independent entities. Premorbid correlates and treatment response trajectories were similar for the two subdomains. We found that secondary negative symptoms affect the subdomains differentially. Depression affects the experiential subdomain, whereas extrapyramidal symptoms affect the expressive subdomain. A link between lipid metabolism and negative symptoms is suggested in that post-hoc testing indicated that reductions in HDL-cholesterol levels were associated with less improvement in both expressive and experiential subdomain scores. Taken together, our findings support the use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics as a first line treatment in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, perhaps particularly in resource constrained settings such as our own.
- ItemInstruments measuring blunted affect in schizophrenia : a systematic review(Public Library of Science, 2015-06) Kilian, Sanja; Asmal, Laila; Goosen, Anneke; Chiliza, Bonginkosi; Phahladira, Lebogang; Emsley, Robin A.Blunted affect, also referred to as emotional blunting, is a prominent symptom of schizophrenia. Patients with blunted affect have difficulty in expressing their emotions. The work of Abrams and Taylor and their development of the Rating Scale for Emotional Blunting in the late 1970’s was an early indicator that blunted affect could indeed be assessed reliably. Since then, several new instruments assessing negative symptoms with subscales measuring blunted affect have been developed. In light of this, we aim to provide researchers and clinicians with a systematic review of the different instruments used to assess blunted affect by providing a comparison of the type, characteristics, administration and psychometric properties of these instruments. Studies reporting on the psychometric properties of instruments assessing blunted affect in patients with schizophrenia were included. Reviews and case studies were excluded. We reviewed 30 full-text articles and included 15 articles and 10 instruments in this systematic review. On average the instruments take 15–30 minutes to administer. We found that blunted affect items common across all instruments assess: gestures, facial expressions and vocal expressions. The CAINS Self-report Expression Subscale, had a low internal consistency score. This suggests that this sub-scale does not reliably assess patients’ self-reported blunted affect symptoms and is likely due to the nature of blunted affect. Instruments correlated minimally with instruments measuring positive symptoms and more importantly with depression suggesting that the instruments distinguish between seemingly similar symptoms.
- ItemRace trouble : experiences of black medical specialist trainees in South Africa(BioMed Central, 2016-12-03) Thackwell, Nicola; Swartz, Leslie; Dlamini, Sipho; Phahladira, Lebogang; Muloiwa, Rudzani; Chiliza, BonginkosiENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: This research aimed to identify and explore the experiences of Black registrars in their training in the Western Cape’s academic hospitals in order to identify structures, practices, attitudes and ideologies that may promote or impede the advancement of Black doctors into specialist medicine. This is justified by the requirement for universities to work towards monitoring and evaluating efforts to create non-discriminatory and inclusive training environments. Methods: This study employed qualitative research methods. Ten Black African medical specialists were interviewed about their training experiences in two university training hospitals in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Interview data was collected using open-ended questions and coded and analysed using thematic and critical discursive analysis techniques. Results: Four experiential themes emerged from the interview data, they included: 1) experiences of everyday racism during work hours, 2) the physical and psychological effects of tokenism and an increased need to perform, 3) institutional racism as a result of inconsistent and unclear methods of promotion and clinical competence building, and 4) an organisational culture that was experienced as having a race and gender bias. Conclusion: This is a pilot study and there are limits on the generalizability of the data due to the small sample. What is clear from our participants, though, is the strong experiential component of finding it challenging to be a Black trainee in a White-dominated profession. We are undertaking further research to explore the issues raised in more detail.