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Hernia Repair & Risk Reduction Programs

Hernia Repair & Risk Reduction Programs

Previous research has shown that a significant proportion of patients who present to the hospital with a ventral hernia have modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, poor fitness, smoking, and poorly controlled diabetes. Researchers have found that preoperative risk-reduction programs can effectively modify patient behaviors, but the generalizability of these outcomes to underserved patients may be hindered by unrecognized barriers. To address this research gap, Julie L. Holihan, MD, and colleagues had a research letter published in JAMA Surgery that aimed to identify patient-reported barriers to successful implementation of a preoperative risk-reduction program at a safety-net hospital. In the prospective, qualitative study, investigators looked at patients who were evaluated at an outpatient hernia clinic at Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. “We conducted interviews with patients to investigate their perspectives on their current health status, their desire for risk modification, and possible barriers to participating in a preoperative risk-reduction program,” explains Dr. Holihan. In total, 43 consecutive patients with ventral hernias consented to participate, and many were uninsured or underinsured and/or minorities. Most participants were unemployed and/or had a disability, and the median education level was 11th grade. Misconceptions Common According to the study results, about 79% of patients reported their current physical condition was a health risk, but about half of overweight patients stated that their weight had no effect on their lives. “Most patients also believed they were able to independently resolve and improve their comorbidities,” adds Dr. Holihan. When participants were asked how they would go about accomplishing this task, the typical response was exercise and diet. Among the self-reported smokers, the most...
Poll Finds Seniors Struggling With Drug Costs Don’t Seek Help

Poll Finds Seniors Struggling With Drug Costs Don’t Seek Help

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Many older Americans who have difficulty paying for their medications don’t seek help in finding more economical options, according to the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging. The national poll of 2,131 adults aged 50 to 80 found that 27 percent said their prescription drug costs were a financial burden. One in six had six or more prescriptions and saw more than one doctor. These patients were the most likely to say they struggled with drug costs, the poll found. Among the respondents who said their medication costs were a burden, 49 percent had not talked to their doctors about the issue. But doing so was effective, because 67 percent of those who did talk to their doctor received a recommendation for a less expensive drug, as did 37 percent of those who talked to their pharmacists. “These new data suggest that many older adults aren’t talking to their doctors or pharmacists about cost and less-expensive alternatives as often as they could,” poll director Preeti Malani, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, said in a university news release. “We see a need for health professionals to find ways to more routinely engage with patients about cost — especially through formal medication reviews such as the one that Medicare will cover.” More Information Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights...
Sex Bias in Surgical Research

Sex Bias in Surgical Research

Throughout the past few decades, studies indicate that the inclusion of women in clinical trials has improved marginally, but there is still a need for better representation of women in research. “The equal inclusion of men and women in clinical trials is important from both a medical and surgical standpoint,” says Melina R. Kibbe, MD. “Men and women have dissimilar health issues, metabolize and react to some drugs differently, and respond to medical devices differently. Both males and females can have diverse outcomes after medical interventions.” Recent analyses have shown that there appears to be sex bias in surgical biomedical research. “Based on the results of these investigations and pressure from advocacy groups, the NIH announced that sex must be considered a variable in all NIH-funded studies,” says Dr. Kibbe. Despite this decree, it is still unknown if sex bias still occurs in human surgical clinical research. Considering that men and women can experience different postoperative outcomes, complication rates, and readmission rates, Dr. Kibbe says it is important to determine if this problem of sex bias is pervasive in surgery. “Controlling for sex as a variable is important because the data derived from clinical research are the foundation to evidence-based medicine,” she says. Taking a Closer Look For a study published in JAMA Surgery, Dr. Kibbe and colleagues investigated if sex bias exists in human surgical clinical research. They also sought to determine if data are reported and analyzed using sex as an independent variable and to identify specialties in which there were the most and least sex biases. The research team conducted a bibliometric analysis, using data from...
Technology and Internet Addiction: How to Recognize it and Recover From it

Technology and Internet Addiction: How to Recognize it and Recover From it

The following is an excerpt from a complete guide published by Comparitech. “Internet Addiction” is a growing problem. As more individuals gain internet access every year, the number of people becoming obsessed and then addicted to the internet is increasing as well. Internet addiction shares a lot of similarities to other additions, and like other addictions, can also be treated. This guide will help you understand what internet addictions can look like, and how they can be treated. Defining Internet Addiction In 2012, popular satire news website The Onion posted a fake video news report: “Brain-Dead Teen, Only Capable Of Rolling Eyes And Texting, To Be Euthanized.” The video amusingly dramatizes the slow degradation of “Caitlin,” a once energetic and active young girl whose brain has succumbed to lifelessness amidst texting and social media usage (and, one would assume, the general malaise of being a teenage girl). Her doting yet troubled parents have decided to take the most loving step they can consider: euthanasia. As the fake doctor in the clip states: “Her eyes may flutter a bit, or she may murmur: ‘Are you for real killing me right now?’, but then the struggle will finally be over.” The Onion is well known for its biting humor, but also, in a similar fashion to television’s Saturday Night Live, for the observational intelligence of its satire. In this case, the site hits fairly close to home for many who have dealt with technology and internet addiction, or who have family members currently struggling with this growing problem. Although realinternet addiction rarely, if ever, results in such a dramatic effect as The Onion’s notably hyperbolic example, its consequences...
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