Article 1

Margot Shield’s article, “Smoking, smoking cessation and heart disease risk: A 16-year follow-up study”, focuses on the effects of smoking among Canadians. It classifies smoking as a major endangerment for the human heart. Smoking leads to the introduction of heart diseases in humans (Shields, Wilkins & Statistics Canada, 2013). The study sample concentrates on a present-day age group of men and women free of heart disease. The article seeks to measure the correlation between smoking cessation, smoking and heart disease.

The study is established on the nine cycles of information. The cycles are from the year 1994/1995 through 2010/2011. These cycles of data, from the National Population Health Survey, gathered data on the smoking status of the modern day age group of men and women from Canada. The sample consisted of 5,715 women and 4,712 men aged twenty five years old or older. The study sample had not developed heart disease. Data was collected every two years. The heart disease was dictated by self-report of identifying the symptoms and cause of the disease, its medication and observed deaths. Risks associated with heart disease were equated among present daily smokers, those who did not smoke daily and one-time daily smokers.

The study conducted found out that the common behavior of smoking had reduced over the past ten years in Canada. The number of cigarettes Canadians smoked on a daily basis had also decreased. When heart disease risks were compared among current daily smokers, one-time daily smokers and those who never smoked daily, current daily smokers were more susceptible to the risks. Present daily smokers had a sixty percent higher risk of developing heart disease compared to those who never smoked daily. The risks associated with heart disease were less prevalent among present day daily smokers who had fewer cigarettes. In spite of associating smoking cessation with a lower risk of developing heart disease, twenty or more years of uninterrupted cessation were needed for the risk to draw near to that of people who did not smoke on a daily basis.

Although smoking affects both smokers and non-smokers, heart disease risks are more prevalent on smokers. Smoking on a daily basis heightens the risk of developing heart diseases. One-time daily smokers are also exposed to the risks associated with smoking cigarettes. They are however not much endangered compared to current daily smokers. The risks lean mainly on the health perspective of humans. Health effects due to smoking cigarettes are more dominant than environmental effects.

Article 2

Dan’s article, “Psychiatry and mental health research in South Africa: National priorities in a low and middle income context”, reviews the recent National Mental Health Summit discussion for South Africa. The summit discussed the research priorities in mental health and psychiatry for South Africa. The research of the study concentrated mainly on low and middle income countries (LAMICs). Research was encouraged by a scope of different priorities in mental health, psychiatry and related research and limited resources in these countries. One of the vital debate discussed in the summit was a research fallacy and a common relation between good academic scholarship and good clinical exercise. The article also outlines conclusions drawn by most summit members on the topic of national research priorities.

Some summit delegates polled stakeholders and researchers in several countries and found out that health systems, psychoses and substance use disorders ranked high globally. Others utilized the multi-region interview procedure and realized that adolescents, women and children ought to be prioritized in a population with mental and psychic disorders. Collins and fellows utilized a Delphi panel to key out challenges faced in mental health research. Overcoming these challenges would greatly impact the lives of people with mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders.

Mental or psychiatric disorders are not rare conditions or unpopular diseases. These diseases affect many people globally compared to physical diseases and conditions. This study confirmed that ten percent or less of worldwide research resources are utilized on such common diseases. Of the ten percent of the resources, very little, close to no resources, are used on mental and psychiatric health research (Stein, 2012). The research study done found out that there exists a treatment gap in low and middle income countries. Due to the level of income of these countries’ citizens, there exists limited or no treatment resources for psychiatric disorders. Hence, people with mental or psychiatric disorders in these countries receive inadequate interventions.

Health research on mental and psychiatric diseases in LAMIC countries is to a lesser extent not likely to be published in high recognizable psychiatric journals as compared to high generating countries’ research work. LAMIC countries’ medical journals were to a lesser extent not likely to write articles regarding mental and psychiatric disorders than those of high generating countries. Over the recent past, there has been evidence of increased level of research on mental and psychiatric health compared to other scientific areas in South Africa. The citizens and other health workers in South Africa are seeking to find out ways of delivering cost-effective interventions on children and adolescent mental and health disorders in the low-resource economy.

Adequate human and financial resources contribute to work efficacy and efficiency in the health sector. The resources ensure that a culture of safety is maintained in all health care institutions. Scientific journals have an obligation to ensure publication of mental and psychiatric health work in both research and general journals in LAMIC countries. It is vital to come up with good health and clinical system interventions suitable for resource limited situations. More research on mental and psychological disorders should be enabled in LAMIC countries.

Article 3

Philippa’s article, “Prodromal services improve clinical outcomes in people who present with an established first episode of psychosis”, writes of prodromal clinical services for psychotic people. The services are said to be highly developed, over the past twenty years, for people with an eminent risk of psychosis. Clinical outcomes of people with the first episode of psychosis were compared to those of people showing ideal mental health conditions. A comparison between patients with first episode of psychosis attending conventional mental health services to those who attending prodromal mental health services was also done.

A study was conducted to compare the results of people with first episode of psychosis who were introduced to the OASIS prodromal service (n=164) to those of the people introduced to established Maudsley NHS Trust and South London mental health services (n=2779). The primary result measured the period of hospital admission while the secondary result measured the time taken to identify the cause of the disease, necessity for mandatory hospital admission and times of admissions. Regression examples were performed to examine the consequence of presenting to the prodromal clinic on clinical outcomes. Ethnicity, age, employment and marital status, diagnosis, gender, borough of residence and exposure to antipsychotics were let in as covariates.

Nearly one third of the patients made reference to prodromal services were already in the first episode of psychosis (FEP). This was found out when they were evaluated. The patients were generally referred directly to a particular first episode psychosis clinical service. Patients introduced to the prodromal services responded at a faster and more efficient way to treatment compared to those who went to established mental health services. Most patients were young males from the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) group. Those introduced to prodromal mental health services experienced more advantages than first episode psychosis patients who attended conventional mental health services (Philippa et al, 2012). They had a shorter period to diagnosis, seventeen fewer hospital stay days, a lower probability of mandatory hospital admission in the two years after referral and a lower occurrence of being admitted to hospital.

Prodromal services, meant for patients with high risks for psychosis, seems to better the clinical results for patients who are psychotic. These research findings propose possible roles for the prodromal clinics to assist with the admission of health care for patients with first episode of psychosis. This would be of much assistance since the patients are most likely to undergo difficulties while engaging with conventional mental health services.

Article 4

The article, “Virtual reality study of paranoid thinking in the general population”, writes of paranoia. The article shows that people with no life threatening mental illness in a population go through paranoid thoughts without any basis. It seeks to find out the factors that cause paranoia by using a laboratory procedure of getting the experience. Fear of whether to trust other people is fundamental to social interaction in spite of being prone to error. The fear is brought by modern day social and political situations. This mistrust, that has no basis, is referred to as paranoia. In severe cases it is called schizophrenia.

One of the methods used in this research was the computer yielded interactive environments. The selected neutral social condition was an underground train ride. Two hundred general public members were assessed and enrolled to a particular train ride inhabited by neutral characters. The advantage associated with this method was that paranoid experiences were not to be unfounded since the computer individuals were programmed to act in ways held by consensus to be neutral. In spite of what an individual did, the individuals retained their neutral nature in their evident responses.

Socio-economic status, computer games, intellectual functioning, education, ethnicity, age and gender were some of the additional factors used to find out causes of paranoia. The interviews and questionnaires used in the research indicated that paranoia happens on a regular basis in about 15- 20% of the population (Daniel et al, 2008). The questionnaires used to assess paranoia experiences did not bring out paranoid thoughts based on reality. Additionally, the interviews conducted did not lay down the truth claiming suspicious thoughts. So as to find more accurate results, the laboratory method was utilized.

Majority of the characters of the paranoia tests were found to be neutral or friendly. However, few were found to have paranoia experiences. These cases were anticipated by worry, anxiety, cognitive inflexibility and perceptual anomalies. The levels of mistrust in the society were linked to the rates of mortality and social togetherness. Hence, both clinical and non-clinical paranoia cases were linked with similar risk factors. However, non-clinical paranoid symptoms were more likely to heighten later psychotic disorder diagnosis. The studies demonstrated that paranoid experiences concerning virtual reality individuals can happen in students and in individuals with a high risk of acquiring psychosis.

Paranoia refers to the baseless fear that other people want to harm you. A clear understanding of clinical paranoia experiences is gained after studying non-clinical paranoia experiences. Clinical observations propose that the most prompt cause of paranoid thoughts is the misunderstanding of daily experiences such as an individual’s facial expression. However, this presents challenges for the research study done on paranoid thinking since it is unacceptable to offer everyone a similar daily experience. This is of great importance since patients with paranoid thoughts act in a different manner compared to others evoking different reactions.


Shields, M., Wilkins, K., & Statistics Canada. (2013). Smoking, smoking cessation and heart disease risk: A 16-year follow-up study. Ottawa?: Statistics Canada.

Stein, D. J. (December 05, 2012). Psychiatry and mental health research in South Africa: National priorities in a low and middle income context. African Journal of Psychiatry, 15, 6, 427.

Rashmi Patel, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Covadonga M Díaz-Caneja, Lucia Valmaggia, Majella Byrne, Steven Badger, Philippa Garety, Hitesh Shetty, Matthew Broadbent, Robert Stewart & Philip McGuire. (May 13, 2012). Prodromal services improve clinical outcomes in people who present with an established first episode of psychosis.

Daniel Freeman, Katherine Pugh, Angus Antley, Mel Slater, Paul Bebbington, Matthew Gittins, Graham Dunn, Elizabeth Kuipers, David Fowler, Philippa Garety. (March 31, 2008). Virtual reality study of paranoid thinking in the general population.

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