On This Day … 15 February

People (Births)

  • 1856 – Emil Kraepelin, German psychiatrist and academic (d. 1926).
  • 1940 – Vaino Vahing, Estonian psychiatrist, author, and playwright (d. 2008).

Emil Kraepelin

Emil Wilhelm Georg Magnus Kraepelin (15 February 1856 to 7 October 1926) was a German psychiatrist. H. J. Eysenck’s Encyclopaedia of Psychology identifies him as the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics.

Kraepelin believed the chief origin of psychiatric disease to be biological and genetic malfunction. His theories dominated psychiatry at the start of the 20th century and, despite the later psychodynamic influence of Sigmund Freud and his disciples, enjoyed a revival at century’s end. While he proclaimed his own high clinical standards of gathering information “by means of expert analysis of individual cases”, he also drew on reported observations of officials not trained in psychiatry.

His textbooks do not contain detailed case histories of individuals but mosaic-like compilations of typical statements and behaviours from patients with a specific diagnosis. He has been described as “a scientific manager” and “a political operator”, who developed “a large-scale, clinically oriented, epidemiological research programme”.

Vaino Bahing

Vaino Vahing (15 February 1940 to 23 March 2008), was an Estonian writer, prosaist, psychiatrist and playwright. Starting from 1973, he was a member of Estonian Writers Union.

Vaino Vahing has written many articles about psychiatry, but also literature – novels, books and plays with psychiatric and autobiographical influence. He has played in several Estonian films.

Book: Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: The craft of caring

Book Title:

Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: The Craft of Caring.

Author(s): Mary Chambers.

Year: 2017.

Edition: Third (3rd).

Publisher: Routledge.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle.


This new edition of a bestselling, evidence-based textbook provides a comprehensive overview of psychiatric and mental health nursing. Keeping service users and their recovery at the centre of care, the holistic approach will help nurses to gain the tools and understanding required to work in this complex area.

Extensively updated for this new edition, the text looks at:

  • Aspects of mental health nursing: covering topics such as ethics, developing therapeutic relationships and supervision.
  • The foundations of mental health nursing: discussing diagnosis, assessment and risk.
  • Caring for those experiencing mental health distress: looking at wide range of troubles including anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and issues around sexuality and gender.
  • Care planning and approaches to therapeutic practice: exploring ideas, pathways and treatments such as recovery, CBT, psychodynamic therapies and psychopharmacology.
  • Services and support for those with mental health distress: covering topics such as collaborative work, involvement of service users and their families and carers, and a range of different mental healthcare settings.
  • Mental health nursing in the twenty-first century: highlighting emerging and future trends including the political landscape, physical health and health promotion, and technological advances.

This accessible and comprehensive textbook integrates service user perspectives throughout and includes student-friendly features such as learning outcomes, key points summaries, reflection points and further reading sections. It is an essential resource for all mental health nursing students, as well as an invaluable reference for practising nurses.

Book: Psychopharmacology: A mental health professional’s guide to commonly used medications (Nursing)

Book Title:

Psychopharmacology: A mental health professional’s guide to commonly used medications (Nursing).

Author(s): Herbert Mwebe.

Year: 2018.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Critical Publishing Ltd.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


This jargon-free guide is suitable for all trainee and registered health professionals who require knowledge and understanding of drugs used in the treatment of mental health conditions for prescribing or administering purposes. A life-saving pocketbook that you can easily carry anywhere you go!

Introductory material provides a background on psychotropic drugs, the aetiology of mental illness, some of the commonly used drugs in practice and brief notes on common non-pharmacological interventional options. It also examines biochemical and neurodevelopmental theories and the link to the pathophysiology of mental illness as well as clinical decision making.

The central chapters of the book provide comprehensive coverage of all the major medications used in mental health. Each focuses on a specific class of drug, detailing the most commonly used medicines, including side effects, average doses, contra-indications and clinical management interventions that may be required. At the end of each chapter a series of review questions enable readers to review their learning, and theory is clearly related to practice throughout.

Considering Drug-Associated Contexts in Substance Use Disorders and Treatment Development.

Research Paper Title

Considering Drug-Associated Contexts in Substance Use Disorders and Treatment Development.


Environmental contexts that are reliably associated with the use of pharmacologically active substances are hypothesized to contribute to substance use disorders.

In this review, the researchers provide an updated summary of parallel pre-clinical and human studies that support this hypothesis.


Research conducted in rats shows that environmental contexts that are reliably paired with drug use can renew extinguished drug-seeking behaviour and amplify responding elicited by discrete, drug-predictive cues.

Akin to drug-associated contexts, interoceptive drug stimuli produced by the psychopharmacological effects of drugs can also influence learning and memory processes that play a role in substance use disorders.


Findings from human laboratory studies show that drug-associated contexts, including social stimuli, can have profound effects on cue reactivity, drug use, and drug-related cognitive expectancies.

This translationally relevant research supports the idea that treatments for substance use disorders could be improved by considering drug-associated contexts as a factor in treatment interventions.

The researchers conclude this review with ideas for how to integrate drug-associated contexts into treatment-oriented research based on 4 approaches:

  • Pharmacology;
  • Brain stimulation;
  • Mindfulness-based relapse prevention; and
  • Cognitive behavioural group therapy.

Throughout, the researchers focus on alcohol- and tobacco-related research, which are two of the most prevalent and commonly misused drugs worldwide for which there are known treatments.


LeCocq, M.R., Randall, P.A., Besheer, J. & Chaudhri, N. (2020) Considering Drug-Associated Contexts in Substance Use Disorders and Treatment Development. Neurotherapeutics. 17(1), pp.43-54. doi: 10.1007/s13311-019-00824-2.

Review of Physical Health Monitoring after Rapid Tranquilisation for Acute Behavioural Disturbance

Research Paper Title

Physical health monitoring after rapid tranquillisation: clinical practice in UK mental health services.


The researchers aimed to assess the quality of physical health monitoring following rapid tranquillisation (RT) for acute behavioural disturbance in UK mental health services.


The Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health (POMH-UK) initiated an audit-based quality improvement programme addressing the pharmacological treatment of acute behavioural disturbance in mental health services in the UK.


Data relating to a total of 2454 episodes of RT were submitted by 66 mental health services.

Post-RT physical health monitoring did not reach the minimum recommended level in 1933 (79%) episodes.

Patients were more likely to be monitored (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.39-2.29, p < 0.001) if there was actual or threatened self-harm, and less likely to be monitored if the episode occurred in the evening (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.62-1.0, p < 0.001) or overnight (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.44-0.75, p < 0.001).

Risk factors such as recent substance use, RT resulting in the patient falling asleep, or receiving high-dose antipsychotic medication on the day of the episode, did not predict whether or not the minimum recommended level of post-RT monitoring was documented.


The minimum recommended level of physical health monitoring was reported for only one in five RT episodes.

The findings also suggest a lack of targeting of at-risk patients for post-RT monitoring.

Possible explanations are that clinicians consider such monitoring too demanding to implement in routine clinical practice or not appropriate in every clinical situation.

For example, physical health measures requiring direct contact with a patient may be difficult to undertake, or counter-productive, if RT has failed.

These findings prompt speculation that post-RT monitoring practice would be improved by the implementation of guidance that integrated and refined the currently separate systems for undertaking and recording physical health observations post-RT, determining nursing observation schedules and detecting acute deterioration in physical health.

The effectiveness and clinical utility of such an approach would be worth testing.


Paton, C., Adams, C.E., Dye, S., Delgado, O., Okocha, C. & Barnes, T.R.E. (2019) Physical health monitoring after rapid tranquillisation: clinical practice in UK mental health services. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1177/2045125319895839. eCollection 2019.