CPD Online eNewsletter February 2017

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 peer-reviewed content.

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Educational feature:



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!



New modules:


Health anxiety: Part 1 – concept, prevalence and management

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 therapy

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 long term.




Updated modules:


Post-traumatic stress disorder

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.




New podcasts:


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.


Long-term outcomes for the offspring of depressed parents

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.



Forthcoming modules:


  • A guide to medico-legal report writing
  • Severe and enduring eating disorders
  • Mindfulness based cognitive therapy
  • The care of transgender people


View our most popular modules and podcasts



New from BJPsych Advances:


Highlights of the January issue:


Diagnosis and treatment: are psychiatrists choosing wisely?

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 assessment

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.




Call for topics!


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 cpdonline@rcpsych.ac.uk



Don't forget...


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 any point during the year.



With best wishes,

The CPD Online Team



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