Publications by authors named "Antero Lassila"

10 Publications

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Withdrawal from Long-Term Use of Unusually High-Dose Oxazepam.

Case Rep Psychiatry 2021 5;2021:2140723. Epub 2021 Nov 5.

Department of Psychiatry, Central Hospital of Southern Ostrobothnia, Hanneksenrinne 7, FI-60220 Seinäjoki, Finland.

Benzodiazepine (BZD) misuse is a worldwide problem that healthcare professionals encounter in daily practice. High-dose BZD withdrawal is usually a long process that may require referral to an inpatient rehabilitation unit. Relapses after withdrawal are common. BZD withdrawal can cause complications including seizures, suicidal behavior, anxiety, and depression. Guidelines describe tapering protocols for modest doses; however, protocols for exceptionally high-dose BZD withdrawal are not well described. Herein, we describe a BZD tapering protocol for a patient with daily use of high-dose (1800 mg) oxazepam (OXP). The BZD tapering was administered in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, and the outcome was evaluated monthly after discharge for three months. This report describes a unique case of high-dose OXP withdrawal and also outlines an optional protocol to apply when clinicians encounter these unusual cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/2140723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8589494PMC
November 2021

Impact of Comorbid Alcohol Use Disorder on Health-Related Quality of Life Among Patients With Depressive Symptoms.

Front Psychiatry 2021 8;12:688136. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.

In psychiatric clinical practice, comorbidity of depression and alcohol use disorder (AUD) is common. Both disorders have a negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in general population. However, research on the impact of comorbid AUD on HRQoL among clinically depressed patients is limited. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of a psychosocial treatment intervention on HRQoL for depressive patients in specialized psychiatric care with a special focus on the impact of AUD on HRQoL. Subjects were 242 patients of the Ostrobothnia Depression Study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT02520271). Patients referred to specialized psychiatric care who scored at least 17 points on the Beck Depression Inventory at baseline and who had no psychotic disorders were included in the ODS. The treatment intervention in ODS comprised behavioral activation for all but began with motivational interviewing for those with AUD. HRQoL was assessed regularly during 24-month follow-up by the 15D instrument. In the present study, HRQoL of ODS patients with or without AUD was compared and the factors explaining 15D score analyzed with a linear mixed model. In order to specify the impact of clinical depression on HRQoL during the early phase of treatment intervention, a general population sample of the Finnish Health 2011 Survey was used as an additional reference group. HRQoL improved among all ODS study sample patients regardless of comorbid AUD during the first year of follow-up. During 12-24 months of follow-up the difference between groups was seen as HRQoL continued to improve only among the non-AUD patients. A combination of male gender, anxiety disorder, and AUD was associated with the poorest HRQoL in this sample. In combined sample analyses with the reference group, clinical depression had an impact on HRQoL in short-term follow-up regardless of the treatment intervention. This study suggests that, in terms of improvement in HRQoL, the heterogenous group of depressive patients in specialized psychiatric care can be successfully treated with behavioral activation in combination with motivational interviewing for those with AUD. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02520271. Ostrobothnia Depression Study (ODS). A Naturalistic Follow-up Study on Depression and Related Substance Use Disorders. (2015). Available online at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02520271.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.688136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8531581PMC
October 2021

Importance of congruence between communicating and executing implementation programmes: a qualitative study of focus group interviews.

Implement Sci Commun 2020 Oct 28;1(1):94. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Psychiatry, South Ostrobothnia Hospital District, Hanneksenrinne 7, FI-60220, Seinäjoki, Finland.

Background: The Ostrobothnia Depression Programme (ODP) in Finland was intended to implement two evidence-based brief psychotherapy interventions, namely motivational interview and behavioural activation, in several regional psychiatric teams. A simultaneous effectiveness study was conducted. Considerable tension was encountered between these two arms, causing resistance to change. We conducted a qualitative case study to better understand this tension and to discuss how managerial and executive practices may ensure the successful running of a hybrid design programme.

Methods: We conducted focus group interviews to evaluate the phases of preparation and practical execution of the ODP from the perspectives of management and the programme executives. To gather the data, we applied the revised Socratic approach for health technology assessment and focus group interviews. We analysed the data deductively according to the Normalization Process Theory.

Results: We identified two main critical issues: (1) The ODP programme plan ignored the team leaders' crucial role in influencing the implementation climate and mobilizing organizational strategies. The ODP had a simplistic top-down design with minimal and delayed collaboration with its target groups in the preparation phase. (2) Incongruence occurred between what the project group had explicitly communicated about being the spearhead of the ODP and what they then actually enacted. These two issues caused tension between the implementation efforts and the effectiveness study as well as resistance to change among the staff.

Conclusion: Early, open collaboration with all prospective stakeholders towards a shared understanding about the programme is the first action the programme administrators should take. Agreement on goals and the means to achieve them would lower tension between the two arms of a hybrid design programme, thereby reducing resistance to change. Congruence between the goals communicated and the actual managerial and executive actions is of paramount importance in getting the programme recipients on board.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s43058-020-00090-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594330PMC
October 2020

What is important for the sustained implementation of evidence-based brief psychotherapy interventions in psychiatric care? A quantitative evaluation of a real-world programme.

Nord J Psychiatry 2019 Apr 19;73(3):185-194. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

a Department of Psychiatry , South Ostrobothnia Hospital District , Seinäjoki , Finland.

Purpose: Behavioural activation and motivational interviewing, both evidence-based treatments (EBTs), were implemented in secondary psychiatric care. This longitudinal evaluation of a real-world programme focused on the penetration of EBT adoption and its associations with therapist-related and perceived intervention-related variables. The implementation plan was also compared to sub-processes of Normalization Process Theory.

Material And Methods: Six participating units employed 72 therapists regularly and they comprise the target group. Due to staff turnover, a total of 84 therapists were trained stepwise. Three survey points (q1, q2, q3) were set for a four-year cycle beginning a year after the initial training and completed 4-5 months after closing patient recruitment. The implementation plan included two workshop days, one for each EBT, and subsequent case consultation groups and other more general strategies.

Results: Fifty-seven (68%) of programme-trained therapists responded to one or more of three questionnaires. The self-reported penetration covers about a third of the target group a few months after the completion of the programme. Therapists' favourable perceptions of the EBTs regarding relative advantage, compatibility and complexity were associated with their sustained adoption. Therapists' background factors (e.g. work experience) and positive adoption intention at q1 did not predict the actual adoption of the EBTs at q3. No specific sustainment strategies were included in the implementation plan.

Conclusion: Brief but multi-faceted training with subsequent case consultations promoted the adoption of EBTs in a real-world setting. Adding specific sustainment strategies to the implementation plan is proposed to ensure the long-term survival of the implementation outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2019.1582698DOI Listing
April 2019

Behavioral activation versus treatment as usual in naturalistic sample of psychiatric patients with depressive symptoms: a benchmark controlled trial.

BMC Psychiatry 2018 07 27;18(1):238. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, PB 100, FI-33014, Tampere, Finland.

Background: More systematic use of evidence-based brief therapies is needed in the treatment of depression within psychiatric care. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of behavioral activation therapy (BA) for patients with depressive symptoms in a routine clinical setting of secondary psychiatric care.

Methods: The BA-treated intervention group (n = 242) comprised patients with depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score ≥ 17 at baseline). The control group (n = 205) patients received treatment as usual in the same catchment area. The groups were matched at baseline using BDI and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test scores and inpatient/outpatient status. The groups were compared at 6-, 12- and 24-month follow-up points on functional outcome (Global Assessment of Functioning scale), service use, dropout and deaths. The Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms in the intervention group.

Results: The estimated difference in GAF score between intervention and control group patients was significant at 12- and 24-months follow-up points in favor of intervention group (GAF score difference 4.85 points, p = 0.006 and 5.71 points, p = 0.005, respectively; estimate for patient group 2.26, p = 0.036). The rates of dropout, mortality and service use were similar between the groups. Among the intervention group patients, the estimated improvement in MADRS score compared to baseline was statistically significant throughout the follow-up (p < 0.001 at all follow-up points).

Conclusions: The systematic use of BA among secondary psychiatric care depressive patients provides encouraging results despite the patients had various comorbid non-psychotic disorders.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov , Identifier NCT02520271, Release Date: 06/27/2015, retrospectively registered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1820-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6063001PMC
July 2018

Temperament clusters associate with anxiety disorder comorbidity in depression.

J Affect Disord 2018 08 23;236:252-258. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

University of Tampere, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, PO Box 100, Tampere FI-33014, Finland; Seinäjoki Hospital District, Department of Psychiatry, Huhtalantie 53, Seinäjoki 60220, Finland.

Background: Individual temperament is associated with psychiatric morbidity and could explain differences in psychiatric comorbidities. We investigated the association of temperament profile clusters with anxiety disorder comorbidity in patients with depression.

Methods: We assessed the temperament of 204 specialized care-treated depressed patients with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) and their diagnoses with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Two-step cluster analysis was used for defining patients' temperament profiles and logistic regression analysis was used for predicting different anxiety disorders for various temperament profiles.

Results: Four temperament clusters were found: 1) Novelty seekers with highest Novelty Seeking scores (n = 56),2) Persistent with highest Persistence scores (n = 36), 3) Reserved with lowest Novelty Seeking scores (n = 66) and 4) Wearied with highest Harm avoidance, lowest Reward Dependence and lowest Persistence scores (n = 58). After adjusting for clinical variables, panic disorder and/or agoraphobia were predicted by Novelty seekers' temperament profile with odds ratio [OR] = 3.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.8 - 6.9, p < 0.001), social anxiety disorder was predicted by Wearied temperament profile with OR = 3.4 (95% CI = 1.6 - 7.5, p = 0.002), and generalized anxiety disorder was predicted by Reserved temperament profile with OR = 2.6 (95% CI = 1.2 - 5.3, p = 0.01).

Limitations: The patients' temperament profiles were assessed while displaying depressive symptoms, which may have affected results.

Conclusions: Temperament clusters with unique dimensional profiles were specifically associated with different anxiety disorders in this study. These results suggest that TCI-R could offer a valuable dimensional method for predicting the risk of anxiety disorders in diverse depressed patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.084DOI Listing
August 2018

Temperament and character profiles are associated with depression outcome in psychiatric secondary care patients with harmful drinking.

Compr Psychiatry 2018 07 7;84:26-31. Epub 2018 Apr 7.

University of Tampere, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland; Seinäjoki Hospital District, Department of Psychiatry, Huhtalantie 53, 60220 Seinäjoki, Finland.

Background: Temperament and character profiles have been associated with depression outcome and alcohol abuse comorbidity in depressed patients. How harmful alcohol use modifies the effects of temperament and character on depression outcome is not well known. Knowledge of these associations could provide a method for enhancing more individualized treatment strategies for these patients.

Methods: We screened 242 depressed patients with at least moderate level of depressive symptoms. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used for identifying patients with marked alcohol use problems (AUP, AUDIT≥11). After 6 weeks of antidepressive treatment 173 patients were assessed using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R). Outcome of depression (MADRS scores across three follow-up points at 6 weeks, 6 months and 24 months) was predicted with AUP, gender, and AUP x Gender and AUP x Time interactions together with temperament and character dimension scores in a linear mixed effects model.

Results: Poorer outcome of depression (MADRS scores at 6 weeks, 6 months and 24 months) was predicted by AUP × Time interaction (p = 0.0002) together with low Reward Dependence (p = 0.003). Gender and all other temperament and character traits were non-significant predictors of the depression outcome in the mixed effects model.

Conclusions: Possibly due to the modifying effect of alcohol use problems, high Reward Dependence was associated with better depression treatment outcome at 6 months. Harm Avoidance and Self-Directedness did not predict depression outcome when alcohol use problems were controlled.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2018.04.001DOI Listing
July 2018

Temperament and character profiles associated with depression and treatment response in patients with or without comorbid substance abuse.

Psychiatry Res 2016 11 16;245:250-258. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

University of Tampere, School of Medicine, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland; Seinäjoki Hospital District, Department of Psychiatry, Huhtalantie 53, 60220 Seinäjoki, Finland.

There is limited knowledge on the relationship between temperament and character profiles and substance abuse comorbidity in depressed patients. We recruited 127 depressed patients without alcohol use problems (non-AUP) and 89 depressed patients with alcohol use problems (AUP). We assessed all patients using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) at baseline and after 6 weeks of treatment. Using univariate general linear models (GLMs), we analyzed differences in TCI-R between AUP and non-AUP. GLMs were also used in analyzing the associations between TCI-R changes and antidepressive treatment responses measured with changes in Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale score (ΔMADRS). Alcohol use explained independently significant proportions of the variation in Novelty Seeking, Self-Directedness, and Persistence. Reward Dependence score change explained 14.1% of the ΔMADRS in AUP, but was non-significant in non-AUP. Character score changes in Self-Directedness and Self-Transcendence explained together 14.1% of ΔMADRS in non-AUP, whereas they were all non-significant in AUP. AUP compared with non-AUP patients had lower Self-Directedness and Persistence and higher Novelty Seeking scores. Detected changes in Reward Dependence and lower Self-Directedness in AUP patients could be reflective of different biological mechanisms associated with depressive symptomatology in alcohol abuse. Changes in character are associated with acute treatment response in non-AUP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.043DOI Listing
November 2016

Outcome of patients with dual diagnosis in secondary psychiatric care.

Nord J Psychiatry 2016 Aug 6;70(6):470-6. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

a Department of Psychiatry , Seinäjoki Hospital District , Seinäjoki , Finland ;

Background: Dual diagnosis (DD) is a common co-morbidity of mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD) and patients with DD are prone to complications. Better knowledge on the outcome, mortality and management of patients with DD in usual secondary psychiatric care would help to inform improved treatment strategies in the future.

Aims: To explore the functional outcome and mortality of patients with DD receiving psychiatric treatment. To assess the recognition of substance use disorders (SUDs) in terms of diagnosis, and the associations of clinically diagnosed SUDs with treatment-related variables.

Methods: The sample of 330 patients was collected by screening all currently treated patients with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a question about other substances used. The inclusion criteria were AUDIT >7 and/or reported use of other substances during the preceding 12 months. The Global Assessment of Functioning scale was used to assess functional outcomes during a 2-year follow-up. Information concerning treatment and patient characteristics was collected retrospectively.

Results: Level of functioning remained stable among all study patients during follow-up. The mortality rate was not increased. Effective medication use was associated with improved functional outcomes. SUDs were underdiagnosed. A clinically diagnosed SUD seemed to have an impact on the regularity of appointments and the doses of prescribed medications.

Conclusions: Given our results suggesting a stable level of functioning, patients with DD appear to be well managed within secondary psychiatric care. Attention should be paid to more precise diagnostics of SUDs and to effective use of medication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/08039488.2016.1160149DOI Listing
August 2016

Early assessment of implementing evidence-based brief therapy interventions among secondary service psychiatric therapists.

Eval Program Plann 2015 Oct 12;52:182-8. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

Department of Psychiatry, South Ostrobothnia Hospital District, Huhtalantie 53, FI-60220 Seinäjoki, Finland; School of Medicine, University of Tampere, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland. Electronic address:

This implementation study was part of the Ostrobothnia Depression Study, in Finland, which covered implementation of motivational interviewing (MI) and behavioral activation (BA) within regional public psychiatric secondary care. It aimed to evaluate the mid-term progress of implementation and related factors. Altogether, 80 therapists had been educated through the implementation program by the point of the mid-term evaluation. Eligible information for evaluation was gathered using two questionnaires (q1, q2) with a one-year interval. A total of 45 of the 80 therapists completed q1, 30 completed q2, and 24 completed both questionnaires. Professional education was the only background factor associated with adopting the interventions (q1: p=0.059, q2: p=0.023), with higher education indicating greater activity. On the basis of trends such as changes in overall usefulness score from q1 to q2, the most involved therapists were slightly more likely to adopt MI/BA. Our experience so far suggests that encouraging staff to begin using new interventions during education is very important. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was found to be a useful tool for constructing the evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.05.004DOI Listing
October 2015
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