Committed to Research

BMDH Mental Heath Research

General Practice

The Blacktown City Mental Health Service provides assessment and treatment for acutely unwell and more stable patients suffering from psychiatric disorders. The service delivers care in a variety of settings. These include the emergency department and medical wards, the psychiatric emergency care centre, the 6 bed short stay ward, the 30 bed acute psychiatric unit called Bungarribee House, the 20 bed step down psychiatric unit called Melaleuca, the Embark building for outpatient and follow-up services and outpatient clinics at Seven Hills and Mt Druitt. The mental health service has speciality services for young people with mental illness, old age psychiatry, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, Indigenous Australians, families and for patients on clozapine. The mental health service provides training for trainees with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and teaching for medical students studying at the Western Sydney University.

 

Our People

  • Professor Vlasios Brakoulias (psychiatrist)
  • Dr Ramanathan Ganapathy (psychiatrist and medical director)
  • Dr Gordon Sloss (psychiatrist)
  • Dr Anoop Sankaranarayanan (psychiatrist)
  • Dr Jane Pineda (clinical psychologist)
  • Thato Jarczyk (clinical psychologist)
  • Trent Hammond (clinical psychologist)
  • Selina Leung (pharmacist)

       

Current Research

  1. Early intervention for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  2. Text messaging project to save lives after self-harming – the SMS SOS project
  3. Understanding the characteristics of strongly held beliefs – the delusion project
  4. Using brain waves and heart beats to diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  5. Using OCD symptoms to subtype obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  6. Developing a better understanding of perinatal anxiety disorders
  7. Demoralisation and rates of anxiety and depression in women of non-English speaking backgrounds
  8. Diabetes case conferences to improve diabetes management in people with severe mental illness
  9. The testing and validation of a scale to measure belief
  10. Is there a relationship between where a stroke occurs and the development of depression
  11. Can cough medicine be used to settle agitated patients?
  12. Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  13. A new medication for schizophrenia – a randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial
  14. A trial of using an online calculation of monetary savings tool to help people quit smoking

 

Publications and Reports


Trent Hammond

 

Trent Hammond
  1. Hammond, T.E., Crowther, A., & Drummond, S. (in press). A thematic exploratory study of Australian clinical psychologists’ experiences: Treatments for overcoming burnout, Frontiers in Psychology, 2018
  2. Stevens, GJ., Hammond, TE., Brownhill, S., Anand, M., De La Riva, A., Hawkins, J., Chapman, T., Baldacchino, R., Micallef, J., Andepalli, J., Kotak, A., Gunja, N., Page, A., Gould, G., Ryan, CJ., Whyte, IM., Carter, GL., and Jones, A. (in press). Study Protocol. SMS SOS: A randomized controlled trial to reduce self-harm and suicide attempts using SMS text messaging. BMC Psychiatry, 2019
  3. Hammond, T.E., Crowther, A., & Drummond, S. (2018). A thematic inquiry into the burnout experience of Australian solo-practicing clinical psychologists, Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01996

 

Professor Vlasios Brakoulias

Professor Vlasios Brakoulias

  1. Nagaratnam N, Brakoulias V, Ng K. Multiple cerebral infarcts following septic shock. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2002; 9(4): 473-476.
  2. Brakoulias V, Bannan E, Cohen P, Geary G. Amisulpride and cardiomyopathy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2005; 39(8): 738.
  3. Brakoulias V, Ryan C, Byth K. Deliberate self-harm in a consultation-liaison service. Australasian Psychiatry. 2006; 14(2): 192-197.
  4. Starcevic V, Brakoulias V. Symptom subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder: are they relevant for treatment? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2008; 42: 651-661.
  5. Brakoulias V, Langdon R, Sloss G, Coltheart M, Harris A, Meares R. Reasoning styles and resistant delusions: a study involving cognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. 2008; 13(2): 148-165.
  6. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V. A cross sectional ward survey of the prevalence and characteristics of delusions. Australasian Psychiatry. 2008; 16(2): 87-91.
  7. Nguyen D, Brakoulias V, Boyce P. An evaluation of monitoring practices in patients on second generation antipsychotics. Australasian Psychiatry. 2009; 17(4): 295-299.
  8. Wilson K, Brakoulias V. Magnesium intake and depression. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2009; 43: 580.
  9. Anwar N, Brakoulias V. Safety of electroconvulsive therapy after subdural haemorrhage. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2010; 44(3): 293-294.
  10. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V. The Characterization of Beliefs in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Psychiatric Quarterly. 2010; 82:151-161.
  11. Brakoulias V. Podcast Into the Future. Australasian Psychiatry. 2010;18(5):467.
  12. Brakoulias V, Mandali R, Seymour J, Sammut P, Starcevic V. Characteristics of admission to a recently opened psychiatric emergency care centre. Australasian Psychiatry. 2010; 18(4): 326-329.
  13. Berle D, Starcevic V, Milicevic D, Moses K, Hannan A, Sammut P, Brakoulias V. The factor structure of the Kessler-10 questionnaire in a treatment-seeking sample. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 2010; 198(9):660-664.
  14. Nasti J, Brakoulias V. Chronic baclofen abuse and withdrawal delirium. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2011; 45(1): 86.
  15. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Sammut P, Berle D, Milicevic D, Moses K, Hannan A. Obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders – A co-morbidity and family history perspective. Australasian Psychiatry. 2011; 19(2): 151-155.
  16. Brakoulias V, Sara G. Hospital admissions for obsessive-compulsive disorder in NSW, 1997 to 2010. Australasian Psychiatry. 2011;19(6):502-6.
  17. Starcevic V, Berle D, Brakoulias V, Sammut P, Moses K, Milicevic D, et al. The nature and correlates of avoidance in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal Psychiatry. 2011; 45(10):871-9.
  18. Starcevic V, Berle D, Brakoulias V, Sammut P, Moses K, Milicevic D, et al. Functions of compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2011; 45(6):449-57.
  19. Berle D, Starcevic V, Brakoulias V, Sammut P, Milicevic D, Hannan A, et al. Disgust propensity in obsessive–compulsive disorder: Cross-sectional and prospective relationships. Journal of Behavioural Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 2012; 43(1):656-63.
  20. Brakoulias V. Products containing synthetic cannabinoids and psychosis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2012; 46(3):281-2.
  21. Brakoulias V. Are we becoming obsessed about climate change? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2012; 46(3):275-6.
  22. Rankin K, Brakoulias V. Patterns of hypnotic medication use for sleep disturbance amongst hospital inpatients. Australasian Psychiatry. 2012; 20:301-304.
  23. Starcevic V, Berle D, Brakoulias V, Sammut P, Moses K, Milicevic D, et al. Interpersonal reassurance seeking in obsessive-compulsive disorder and its relationship with checking compulsions. Psychiatry Research. 2012; 200:560-567.
  24. Lampe L, Shadbolt N, Starcevic V, Boyce P, Brakoulias V, Hitching R, Viswasan K, Walter G, Malhi G. Diagnostic processes in mental health: GPs and psychiatrists reading the same book but on a different page. Australasian Psychiatry. 2012; 20:374-378.
  25. Starcevic V, Berle D, Brakoulias V, Sammut P, Moses K, Milicevic D, et al. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder co-occurring with obsessive-compulsive disorder: Conceptual and clinical implications. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2013; 47:65-73.
  26. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Berle D, Milicevic D, Moses K, Hannan A, et al. Further support for a five dimensions of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 2013; 201:452-459.
  27. Brakoulias V. Diagnostic subtyping of obsessive-compulsive disorder - have we got it all wrong? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2013; 47:23-25.
  28. Brakoulias V. Virtual reality can help to develop a new reality. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2013; 47:186-187.
  29. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Berle D, Milicevic D, Moses K, Hannan A, Sammut P. The use of psychotropic agents for the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Australasian Psychiatry. 2013; 21:117-121.
  30. Lampe L, Fritz K, Boyce P, Starcevic V, Brakoulias V, Walter G, Shadbolt N, Harris A, Malhi G. Psychiatrists and GPs: Diagnostic decision making, personality profiles and attitudes toward depression and anxiety. Australasian Psychiatry. 2013; 21:231-237.
  31. Brakoulias V. Releasing medical records to the mentally ill – what about the carer? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2013; 47(10): 962-963.
  32. Phu AL, Xu Z, Brakoulias V, Mahant N, Fung VSC, Moore GD, Martin A, Starcevic V, Krause M. Effect of impulse control disorders on disability and quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2014; 21(1):63-66.
  33. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Berle D, Milicevic D, Moses K, Hannan A, Sammut P. The characteristics of unacceptable/taboo thoughts in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2013; 54(7):750-757.
  34. Brakoulias V, Seymour J, Lee J, Sammut P, Starcevic V. Predictors of length of stay in a psychiatric emergency care centre (PECC). Australasian Psychiatry. 2013; 21(6):563-566.
  35. Brakoulias V. Lyme disease or a complication of delusional parasitosis? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2014; 48(1):97-98.
  36. Starcevic V, Brakoulias V. New diagnostic perspectives on obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and its links with other conditions. Current opinion in Psychiatry. 2014; 27(1):62-67.
  37. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Berle D, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Martin A. The relationships between obsessive-compulsive symptom dimensions and cognitions in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatric Quarterly. 2014; 85(2):133-142.
  38. Brakoulias V. "Striving for excellence in the practice of psychiatry." Australasian Psychiatry 2014; 22 (1):5-6.
  39. Phu A, Xu Z, Brakoulias V, Mahant N, Fung VSC, De Moore G, Martin A, Starcevic V, and Krause M. Effect of impulse control disorders on disability and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 2014; 21(1):63-66.
  40. Brakoulias V. DSM5 farewells hypochondriasis and welcomes somatic symptom disorder and illness anxiety disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2014; 48 (7):688.
  41. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Berle D, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Viswasam K, Mann K.The clinical characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder associated with high levels of schizotypy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2014; 48 (9):852-860.
  42. Brockman R, Kiernan M, Brakoulias V, Murrell E. The relationship between cognitive behavioural therapy maintenance processes, emotional distress, and positive psychotic symptoms: evidence that CBT is “not a quasi-neuroleptic”. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. 2014; 28 (2):101-116.
  43. Brakoulias V. The future of pharmacotherapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may lie in a better understanding of its heterogeneity. Expert Opinion in Psychopharmacology. 2014; 15(10):1321-1323.
  44. Brakoulias, V, Androutsos, C. The clinical utility of the tic-related obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnostic specifier. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2015; 49(11):1060-1060.
  45. Berle D, Starcevic V, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Dale E, Brakoulias V, Viswasam K. Do patients prefer face-to-face or Internet-based therapy? Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 2015; 84(1):61-62.
  46. Brakoulias V, Looi J, Macfarlane M. The rites of writing papers: steps to successful publishing for psychiatrists. Australasian Psychiatry. 2015; 23(1):32-36.
  47. Brakoulias V. The opportunity to make wise choices in our quest for excellence in the practice of psychiatry. Australasian Psychiatry. 2014; 22(6):521-522.
  48. Brakoulias V. Managing obsessive-compulsive disorder. Australian Prescriber. 2015; 38(4):121-123.
  49. Starcevic V, Berle D, Viswasam K,Hannan A, Milicevic D, Brakoulias V, Dale E. Specificity of the Relationships Between Dysphoria and Related Constructs in an Outpatient Sample. Psychiatric Quarterly. 2015; 86(4):459-469.
  50. Brakoulias V, Milicevic D. Assessment and management of Hoarding disorder. Australasian Psychiatry. 2015; 23(4):358-360.
  51. Brakoulias V, Eslick G, Starcevic V. A meta-analysis of the response of pathological hoarding to pharmacotherapy. Psychiatry Research. 2015; 229(1-2):272-276.
  52. Starcevic V, Brakoulias V, Viswasam K, Berle D. Inconsistent portrayal of medication dependence, withdrawal and discontinuation symptoms in treatment guidelines for anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 2015; 84 (6):379–380.
  53. Berle D, Moulds ML, Starcevic V, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Dale E, Viswasam K, Brakoulias V. Does emotional reasoning change during cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety? Cognitive behaviour therapy. 2015; 24:1-3.
  54. Starcevic V, Berle D, Conceição do Rosário M, Brakoulias V, Ferrão YA, Viswasam K, Shavitt R, Miguel E, Fontenelle LF. Use of benzodiazepines in obsessive-compulsive disorder. International Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2016; 31(1):27-33.
  55. Peterson R, Brakoulias V, Langdon R. An experimental investigation of mentalization ability in borderline personality disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2016; 64:12-21.
  56. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Martin A, Berle D, Milicevic D, Viswasam K. The familiality of specific symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatry Research. 2016; 239:315-319.
  57. Berle D, Starcevic V, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Dale E, Skepper B, Viswasam M, Brakoulias V. The structure and intensity of self-reported autonomic arousal symptoms across anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2016; 199:81-86.
  58. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Belloch A, Dell’Osso L, Ferrao YA, Fontenelle LF, Lochner C,Marazziti D, Martin A, Matsunaga H,Miguel EC, Reddy YCJ, do Rosario MC, Shavitt RG, Shyam Sundar A, Stein D J, Viswasam K. International prescribing practices in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Human Psychopharmacology – Clinical and Experimental. 2016; 31:319-24.
  59. Hannan A, Starcevic V, Berle D, Milicevic D, Brakoulias V. Treatment duration for anxiety disorders in a clinical setting. Australasian Psychiatry 2018; 26:307-310.
  60. Starcevic V, Brakoulias V. Current understanding of the relationships between obsessive-compulsive disorder and personality disturbance. Current opinion in psychiatry. 2017; 30(1): 50-55.
  61. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Belloch A, Brown C, Ferrao YA, Fontenelle LF, Lochner C, Marazziti D, Matsunaga H, Miguel EC, Reddy YC. Comorbidity, age of onset and suicidality in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD): An international collaboration. Comprehensive psychiatry. 2017; 76:79-86.
  62. Brakoulias V, Rehn S. Does the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms reduce with age? Journal of Affective Disorders. 2017; 213:178-179.
  63. Starcevic V, Brakoulias V. The importance of aberrant beliefs in obsessive-compulsive disorder and related conditions. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2018: 52:201-202. doi: 10.1177/0004867417726178.
  64. Marazziti D, Umberto A, Dell’Osso B, Tundo A, Cuniberti F, Maina G, Moroni I, Benatti B, Mucci F, Massimetti G, Brakoulias V. Italian prescribing patterns in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2017: 32(6): 2641.
  65. Brakoulias, V, Tsalamanios, E. Pharmacotherapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): predicting response and moving beyond serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2017; 18(1):1-3.
  66. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Viswasam K, Brown C. The Nepean Belief Scale: Preliminary reliability and validity in obsessive-compulsive disorder. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice. 2018: 22 (2):84-88.
  67. Brakoulias V, Tsalamanios E, Perkes I. A call for prevention and early intervention in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Early Intervention in Psychiatry. 2018: 12 (4):572-577. (doi 10.1111/eip.12535).
  68. Seymour J, Chapman T, Starcevic V, Visawasam K, Brakoulias V. Changing Characteristics of a Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre. An eight year follow-up study. Australasian Psychiatry (In press).
  69. Berle D, Starcevic V, Viswasam K, Milicevic D, Hannan A, Brakoulias V, Steel Z. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Nepean Dysphoria Scale in a clinical sample. Psychiatric Quarterly. 2018: 89(3):621-629 (doi.org/10.1007/s11126-018-9564-9).
  70. Rehn S, Eslick G, Brakoulias V. A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of different cortical targets used in repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Psychiatric Quarterly. 2018: 89(3):645-665. (doi.org/10.1007/s11126-018-9566-7)
  71. Brakoulias V. A commentary on the clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2019: 53(1):81-82. (https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0004867418810177).
  72. Brakoulias V, Stockings E. A systematic review of risperidone, paliperidone and aripiprazole as augmentation agents for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Expert Opinion in Pharmacotherapy. 2019: 20(1): 42-57.
  73. Brakoulias V, Starcevic V, Albert U, Antoniou M, Arumugham SS, Bailey BE, Belloch A, Borda T, Dell’Osso L, Elias JA, Falkenstein MJ, Ferrao YA, Fontenelle L, Jelinek L, Kalogeraki L, Kay B, Laurito LD, Lochner C, Maina G, Marazziti D, Martin A, Matsunaga H, Miguel EC, Morgado P, Mourikis I, Pasquini M, Perez Rivera R, Potluri S, Reddy YCJ, Riemann BC, do Rosario MC, Shavitt RG, Stein D, Viswasam K, Wang Z, Fineberg NA. Treatments used for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – An international perspective. Human psychopharmacology – Clinical and Experiental. 2019: 34(1):e2686.
  74. Fineberg NA, Dell Osso B, Albert U, Maina G, Geller D, Carmi L, Sireau N, Walitza S, Grassi G, Pallanti S, Hollander E, Brakoulias V, Menchon JM, Marazziti D, Ioannidis K, Apergis-Schoute A, Stein DJ, Cath DC, Veltman DJ, Van Ameringen M, Fontenelle LF, Shavitt RG, Costa D, Diniz JB, Zohar J. Early Intervention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:  An Expert Consensus Statement. European Neuropsychopharmacology 2019: 29(4): 549-565. (doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.02.002).
  75. Zhou W, Brakoulias V. Cough medicine for agitation – nothing to cough about. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2019: 53(8):816-817. (doi.org/10.1177%2F0004867419837367).
  76. de Ávila RCS, Nascimento LG, de Moura Porto RL, Fontenelle LF, Miguel EC, Ferrão YA,Brakoulias V. Level of insight in patients with OCD: an exploratory comparative study between patients with “good insight” and “poor insight”. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2019: 10: 413 (doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00413).
  77. Munir U, Younus A, Brakoulias V. A brief intervention to improve rates and quality of physical examinations for admissions to acute adult psychiatry units. Australasian Psychiatry. 2019 (In press: 5:1039856219847512).
  78. Van Winssen C, Walters E, Brakoulias V. Amphetamine-Type Stimulant Use in Acute Psychiatric Inpatients with Delusions. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2019 (In press).

 

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