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3 news posts in Psychiatry


27 Apr 2022

Almost 90% of autistic women report experiencing sexual violence, often on multiple occasions

By K.E.D. Coan, science writer The prevalence of sexual abuse may be up to three times higher for women who are on the autism spectrum, compared to those who are not, reports a new study from France. This is the largest survey specifically investigating the vulnerability of autistic women and the results will improve treatment strategies for victims, as well as prevention programs worldwide. As many as nine out of 10 autistic women in France report have suffered sexual violence, shows a new study in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. This is one of the largest studies to date focused specifically on this population. In contrast, previous research has shown that the rate of sexual aggression against non-autistic women is one in three, suggesting that offenders are three times more likely to target autistic women. The results also revealed that most victims had been assaulted multiple times, that this began when they were young and that they were rarely able to report the abuse or receive care. These findings will guide better prevention and treatment programs.  “This research project was started by the study’s co-authors (Dr David Gourion, a psychiatrist, and Dr Séverine Leduc, a neuropsychologist) who have observed in their […]


13 Oct 2021

‘Risks linked with parental mental illness and substance use are undeniable, but efforts to scale-out and sustain evidence-based practices are challenging’

By Prof Joanne Nicholson, the Institute for Behavioral Health at The Heller School, Brandeis University, Massachusetts Prof Joanne Nicholson. Image: Brandeis University Researchers working in the area of parental mental illness and substance use disorders face a number of challenges conducting rigorous research and implementing change effectively. Now, the highly experienced Prof Joanne Nicholson of the Institute for Behavioral Health at The Heller School, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, reveals that despite the urgency, the opportunities for scaling out and sustaining prevention and intervention innovation for these families are largely unrealized. I have the good fortune of being the lead editor for the initial Frontiers Research Topic on Parents with Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders and Their Children.  With more than 118,000 total views, it seems the topic is of interest to many readers. We know that mental health and/or substance use disorders convey challenges to adults as well as to their children and family members. The risks and impact associated with parental mental illness are undeniable and the opportunities for prevention and intervention abound but are largely untapped. Clearly, intervention development and testing and, ultimately, sustainment, are important issues to be addressed in the field. Of the 26 papers published in […]

Figure of a woman in a red bathing suit inside a plastic rectangle on top of a fabric cloth.


10 Mar 2021

Use of image and performance-enhancing drugs surged during Covid-19 restrictions

By The University of Hertfordshire Image: Zenza Flarini/Shutterstock 28% of people have used image and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) during the Covid-19 pandemic, rising to 32% in the UK, an international study led by the University of Hertfordshire has found. Researchers say this trend is being worsened by ‘fitspirational’ posts on social media pressuring people to achieve the ‘perfect body’. Published today in Frontiers in Psychiatry, researchers asked more than 3,000 people from 7 different countries, including the UK, about their exercise habits, use of IPEDs and the feelings they have towards their appearance. ► Read original article► Download original article (pdf) They found that 32% of the UK have used IPEDs during the pandemic – 6% for the first time ever – with 43% of those buying IPEDs from the internet, likely without medical supervision or professional advice. The study also found that men were significantly more likely to use IPEDs than women, with 28% of men reporting to have used IPEDs during lockdown compared to 16% of women. IPEDs is a broad term used to capture the range of products available that can alter a person’s appearance, physical or mental performance. IPEDs can include anything from legal products such as proteins, […]