Advertisement

The American Psychiatric Association 2011 Annual Meeting

The American Psychiatric Association’s 2011 annual meeting was held May 14-18 in Honolulu. The features below highlight some of the news emerging from the meeting. » Depression Screening May Reduce Future Clinic Visits » Examining Atypical Antipsychotic Use in Children » Sulfonylureas May Have Antidepressant Effects » Type of Media Affects Sleep Patterns for Teens » Views on Depression From PCPs & Psychiatrists  Depression Screening May Reduce Future Clinic Visits The Particulars: The United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended screening patients with certain physical diagnoses for depression on the basis of previous studies showing an increased risk. However, little evidence is available demonstrating that these screenings lead to improved outcomes. The recommendation has recently been criticized for its lack of proven cost-effectiveness. Data Breakdown: Researchers screened patients with certain physical diagnoses—including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, COPD, and obesity—for depression. The PHQ-9 was administered to study participants. Patients whose screening results indicated at least mild depression showed no significant difference in the number of visits during the following year, compared with the year before. However, among those with negative screenings, the average number of visits declined after the screening. In the year before screening, the average number of clinic or hospital visits was 2.8 for non-depressed patients, compared with 2.7 after the screening. About 30% of positive screens led to actual contact with a nurse or psychiatrist. Among patients who had follow-up engagement, 44% had full remission and 29% had significant improvement in PHQ-9 scores. Take Home Pearls: Depression screening in patients with chronic physical diseases appears to reduce subsequent clinic visits. However, more research is needed as this finding...

Racial & Ethnic Disparities in CAD

Previous research has shown that there appears to be disparate care among different racial and ethnic populations, especially in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). Clinical studies also suggest that there are differences in the use of evidence-based medicine among these different racial and ethnic groups. According to published data, minorities with acute coronary syndromes are more likely to receive sub-standard care. It has been shown throughout the medical literature that racial and ethnic minorities often receive evidence-based treatments less frequently than Caucasians. Other studies show that minorities are often treated at facilities that are not as adept at adhering to composite performance measures. The Get With the Guidelines-CAD (GWTG-CAD) quality improvement program, provided by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, is designed to enhance hospital adherence to guidelines when managing CAD patients. The program employs a set of performance, quality, and reporting measures to track the quality of care at an institution, and it has been proven to improve adherence to evidence-based care of patients hospitalized with CAD. A part of the GWTG-CAD program is directed toward improving ethnic and racial disparities among CAD patients to the point where care is defect-free. The concept of defect-free care is a critical component in the GWTG-CAD program. At its core, defect-free care is intended to ensure that every patient receives all of the interventions for which they’re eligible. These interventions are also known as performance measures because their use in CAD patients is supported by well-grounded scientific evidence. Therefore, performance measures are well-suited for public reporting to compare hospitals and pay-for-performance initiatives. Quality Improvement Programs Work In...
[ HIDE/SHOW ]