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Effectiveness of dietary interventions in mental health treatment: A rapid review of reviews
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-09, 03:48 authored by T Burrows, S Teasdale, Tetyana RocksTetyana Rocks, Megan C. Whatnall, J Schindlmayr, J Plain, G Latimer, M Roberton, D Harris, A Forsyth
Aim: This rapid review of reviews aimed to determine the extent of research undertaken on the effectiveness of dietary interventions for individuals with a mental disorder. Methods: Three databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Reviews and Cochrane Trials) were searched to February 2021 for systematic reviews including experimental studies assessing the effectiveness of dietary interventions with physical or mental health related outcomes in adults or children with one or more of: severe mental illness, depression or anxiety, eating disorders, or substance use disorder. Results are presented descriptively. Results: The number of included reviews was 46 (67% in severe mental illness, 20% in depression and anxiety, 7% in eating disorders, and 7% in substance use disorders). Most reviews were published since 2016 (59%), and included studies conducted in adults (63%). Interventions in the eating disorders and severe mental illness reviews were predominantly education and behaviour change, whereas interventions in the substance use disorders, and depression and anxiety reviews were predominantly supplementation (e.g. omega-3). Twenty-eight and twelve of the reviews respectively reported mental health and dietary outcomes for one or more included studies. Most reviews in severe mental illness, and depression and anxiety reported conclusions supporting the positive effects of dietary intervention, including positive effects on weight-related or mental health outcomes, and on mental health outcomes, respectively. Conclusions: A larger number of systematic reviews were identified which evaluated dietary interventions in individuals with severe mental illness, and depression and anxiety, compared with substance use disorders, and eating disorders. Dietary intervention is an important component of the treatment that should be available to individuals living with mental disorders, to support their physical and mental health.