Nursing News

Cognition research aims to reduce medical errors

Special issue spotlights psychology’s vital links to health-care outcomes

 

Washington, DC, USA (September 12, 2011) – How doctors, nurses and other health care professionals can be better prepared to reduce medical mistakes and improve patient care is the focus of several studies published in a special issue of the American Psychological Association's Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

 

Flu vaccines for nursing home workers effective in reducing outbreaks: study

 

Arlington, VA, USA (September 12, 2011) - Higher flu vaccination rates for health care personnel can dramatically reduce the threat of flu outbreak among nursing home residents, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

 

USC scientists generate first detailed map of human neuroreceptor

Research could pave the way for development of better drugs to target neurodegenerative diseases

 

Los Angeles, CA, USA (September 11, 2011) - For the first time, USC scientists have mapped out a neuroreceptor. This scientific breakthrough promises to revolutionize the engineering of drugs used to treat ailments such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

 

Researchers find hormone that predicts premature death in kidney patients

Discovery will allow earlier interventions

 

Aurora, Colorado, USA  (Sept. 9, 2011) – Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that high levels of a specific hormone can predict which kidney patients will develop heart problems, require dialysis or die prematurely.

 

Chronic pain: Watch out before accepting diagnosis and treatment

New commentary in the FASEB Journal suggests that patients and physicians should take a different approach in diagnosing chronic Lyme disease and use only approved diagnostic tools

 

Bethesda, MD, USA (September 8, 2011) - A new commentary published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) argues that patients should be diligent and demand proof of safety and benefit before beginning any treatment regimen for chronic pain, as some treatments have very little scientific evidence that they actually alleviate the conditions for which they are prescribed. In the article, Phillip J. Baker, Ph.D., Executive Director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation, dispels myths surrounding chronic Lyme disease, using it as an example of why patients should ensure that diagnostic and treatment tools are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and not just recommended by other patients and physicians.

 

Aerobic exercise may reduce the risk of dementia

 

Rochester, Minnesota, USA (September 7, 2011) - Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition's progression once it starts, reported a Mayo Clinic study published this month in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers examined the role of aerobic exercise in preserving cognitive abilities and concluded that it should not be overlooked as an important therapy against dementia.

 

Chemotherapy can impair speech

 

Gothenburg, Sweden (September 6, 2011) - Patients who have received high doses of chemotherapy may find it harder to express themselves verbally, according to new research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Speech difficulties among cancer patients who received chemotherapy treatment were two times higher than among those who did not.

 

Neonatal and infant feeding disorders program saves infants from lifetime of feeding tubes

Innovative feeding strategy improves infant feeding and saves millions a year in health-care costs

 

Columbus, Ohio USA (September 6, 2011 - An innovative approach to treating neonatal feeding problems at Nationwide Children's Hospital has allowed infants who were struggling to feed orally to be discharged earlier and without feeding tubes, subsequently saving millions of annual healthcare charges.

 

Remembering the past negatively worsens health

 

Granada, Spain (September 6, 2011) - Going back to work after the holidays is a nightmare for many. Can you improve your health by remembering the past in a positive way? A study by the University of Granada (UGR) reports that people's attitude to past events, present experiences or future expectations, influences their perception of health and their quality of life.

 

Mother's postpartum oxycodone use:

No safer for breastfed infants than codeine

 

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (September 6, 2011) - Doctors have been prescribing codeine for postpartum pain management for many years, and, until recently, it was considered safe to breastfeed while taking the opioid. But the death of an infant exposed to codeine through breast milk has many health care providers questioning the safety of the drug when used by breastfeeding mothers. Because of the potential risks, some doctors have begun the practice of prescribing oxycodone as an alternative to codeine; however, a new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics finds that oxycodone is no safer for breastfed infants than codeine.  

Weight-loss surgery has its complications but costs less than standard obesity treatment

 

Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom (September 6, 2011) - The majority of people who undergo bariatric weight-loss surgery benefit from the procedure, but long-term complications and further surgery are not uncommon, according to a UK paper on late postoperative complications in the October issue of BJS, the British Journal of Surgery.

However, a Finnish paper, published in the same issue, says that bariatric surgery is a more cost-effective way of tackling rising morbid obesity rates than non-operative care. Researchers state that it increases health-related quality of life and reduces the need for further treatment and total healthcare costs among patients who are very obese. 

Lifetime 'dose' of excess weight linked to risk of diabetes, according to U-M study

Long term study shows degree and duration of obesity in adolescents and young adults are important for type 2 diabetes risk, especially for Hispanics and blacks

 

Ann Arbour, Michigan, USA (September 6, 2011) - Obesity is a known risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. But it hasn't been clear whether the "dose" of obesity — how much excess weight a person has, and for how long — affects the risk of diabetes. A new University of Michigan Health System study of about 8,000 adolescents and young adults shows the degree and duration of carrying extra pounds are important risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

 

Study: No link between menopause and increased risk of fatal heart

Johns Hopkins researchers say data show aging alone, not hormonal impact of menopause, explains increasing number of deaths as women age

 

Baltimore, Maryland, USA (September 6, 2011) - Contradicting the long-held medical belief that the risk of cardiovascular death for women spikes sharply after menopause, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests instead that heart disease mortality rates in women progress at a constant rate as they age.

 

A more progressive tax system makes people happier

 

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (September 6, 2011) - The way some people talk, you'd think that a flat tax system — in which everyone pays at the same rate regardless of income — would make citizens feel better than more progressive taxation, where wealthier people are taxed at higher rates. Indeed, the U.S. has been diminishing progressivity of its tax structure for decades.

 

Prenatal exposure to phthalates linked to decreased mental and motor development

These endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are widely present in the environment, linked to increased behavioral problems at age 3 and may cause changes in the developing brain

 

New York, NY, USA (September 6, 2011) - A newly published study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health heightens concerns over the potential health effects on children of a group of ubiquitous chemicals known as phthalates. Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are known to disrupt the endocrine system, and are widely used in consumer products ranging from plastic toys, to household building materials, to shampoos.

 

The size and burden of mental disorders in Europe

 

Utrecht, The Netherlands (September 5, 2011) - A major landmark study released today by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) sheds new light on the state of Europe's mental and neurological health. The study finds reveal that mental disorders have become Europe's largest health challenge in the 21st century. The study also highlights that the majority of mental disorders remain untreated. Taken together with the large and increasing number of 'disorders of the brain', the true size and burden is even significantly higher.

 

Even mild cognitive impairment appears to substantially increase risk for death

 

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (September 5, 2011) – Cognitive impairment, even when detected at an early, mild stage, is a significant predictor of decreased life expectancy. According to a new, long-term study from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University researchers, cognitive impairment, especially at the moderate to severe stages has an impact on life expectancy similar to chronic conditions such as diabetes or chronic heart failure. Their findings, "Cognitive Impairment: An Independent Predictor of Excess Mortality. A Cohort Study" appears in the Sept. 6, 2011 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

 

Aging eyes linked to sleepless nights, new study shows

Cataract could be factor in frequent insomnia among elderly

 

Darien, Illinois, USA (September 1, 2011) – A natural yellowing of the eye lens that absorbs blue light has been linked to sleep disorders in a group of test volunteers, according to a study in the September 1 issue of the journal Sleep. As this type of lens discoloration worsened with age, so did the risk of insomnia.

 

Commonly used defibrillators raise risk of problems

Study shows simpler version of the device gives same benefit with less risk

 

Denver, Colorado, USA (August 31, 2011) - When it comes to defibrillators, simpler may be safer, even though more complex machines are used on a majority of patients.

 

Researchers Share Discoveries About Aging-Related Changes in Health and Cognition

 

Washington, DC, USA (August 31, 2011) - Critical life course events and experiences — in both youth and middle adulthood — may contribute to health and cognition in later life, according to a new supplemental issue of the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. Furthermore, the authors find that the processes of aging linked to cognition and those linked to health should be studied simultaneously, as part of the same set of processes.

 

Federal investment in electronic health records likely to reap returns in quality of care

 

Cleveland, Ohio, USA (August 31, 2011) – Research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine gives cause for optimism that federal investments in electronic health records (EHRs) could reap major benefits in better patient care and health outcomes.

 

Like mama bears, nursing mothers defend babies with a vengeance

 

Los Angeles, California, USA (August 31, 2011) - Women who breast-feed are far more likely to demonstrate a "mama bear" effect — aggressively protecting their infants and themselves — than women who bottle-feed their babies or non-mothers, according to a new study in the September issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

 

Mistaken fear of measles shot has 'devastating' effect

 

Rochester, Minnesota, USA (August 30, 2011) - More than 150 cases of measles have been reported in the United States already this year and there have been similar outbreaks in Europe, a sign the disease is making an alarming comeback. The reappearance of the potentially deadly virus is the result of unfounded fears about a link between the measles shot and autism that have turned some parents against childhood vaccination, says Gregory Poland, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10966366.html), of Mayo Clinic. In the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings (http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com), Dr. Poland urges doctors to review extensive scientific research that has found no connection between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

 

More questions than answers remain concerning effects of airplane travel on insulin pump delivery

 

New Rochelle, NY, USA (August 30, 2011) — Despite recent concerns that changes in atmospheric pressure during airplane travel may affect the amount of insulin delivered via pump devices, the current evidence is limited and it would be unwise to overreact until more data are available, according to an insightful editorial in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The editorial is available free online.

Calling Nurses to Exercise as Role Models for their Patients

 

Cleveland, Ohio, USA (August 30, 2011) - Nurses, just like many of their patients, struggle to find time and motivation to exercise. But a new study may give these all-important caregivers some additional pressure and responsibility: nurses’ attitudes can influence whether their patients commit to a healthy lifestyle.

 

Patients’ Health Motivates Workers To Wash Their Hands

Can changing a single word on a sign motivate doctors and nurses to wash their hands?

 

Washington, DC, USA (August 29, 2011) - Campaigns about hand-washing in hospitals usually try to scare doctors and nurses about personal illness, says Adam Grant, a psychological scientist at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. “Most safety messages are about personal consequences,” Grant says. “They tell you to wash your hands so you don’t get sick.” But his new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this is the wrong kind of warning.

 

Learning information the hard way may be best 'boot camp' for older brains

Making mistakes while learning has memory benefits

 

Toronto, Canada (August 24, 2011) – Canadian researchers have found the first evidence that older brains get more benefit than younger brains from learning information the hard way – via trial-and-error learning. The study was led by scientists at Baycrest's world-renowned Rotman Research Institute in Toronto and appears online Aug. 24, 2011 in the journal Psychology and Aging, ahead of the print edition.

 

Exercise can substitute effectively as second 'medication' for people with depression

 

Dallas, Texas, USA (August 24, 2011) – Exercise can be as effective as a second medication for as many as half of depressed patients whose condition have not been cured by a single antidepressant medication.

 

Maintaining exercise when the cardiac rehab is complete

The Miriam Hospital study finds telephone intervention helps keep patients on track

 

Providence, Rhode Island, USA (August 23, 2011) – Researchers from The Miriam Hospital have found that patients who have completed cardiac rehabilitation and who receive telephone counseling that supports exercise are more likely to adhere to an exercise program. Results of the study, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

 

Ga ga for goo goo

Research explores the scientific basis for baby fever

 

Manhattan, Kansas, USA (August 23, 2011) - We see it in the movies and on television when a character realizes they desperately want to have a child. Often it is connected with a ticking biological clock. Or we may experience it ourselves when we see baby toys and clothes in the store. "It" can be summarized in two words: Baby fever.

 

Sexist men and women -- made for each other

New study suggests that sexist women with a preference for casual sex are more likely to respond to men's aggressive strategies

 

Lawrence, Kansas, USA (August 23, 2011) - Men with a preference for "one-night stands" and negative sexist attitudes towards women are more likely to use aggressive courtship strategies. They compete with other men who are also interested in the woman, tease the woman, and isolate her away from her friends. In response, women with a preference for 'no strings attached' sex and negative attitudes towards other women are more likely to respond to men's aggressive strategies.

 

The importance of the team composition in ICUs

 

New York, N.Y., USA (August 23, 2011) - A higher proportion of female nurses among intensive care teams may decrease individuals' risk of professional burnout, according to Swiss researchers who studied the factors related to burnout in the high-stress setting of the intensive care unit (ICU).

 

Is Marriage Good for the Heart?

Wedded Bliss Triples Long-Term Survival After Bypass Surgery

 

Rochester, N.Y., USA (August 22, 2011) - Giving your heart to a supportive spouse turns out to be an excellent way to stay alive, according to new research from the University of Rochester. Happily wedded people who undergo coronary bypass surgery are more than three times as likely to be alive 15 years later as their unmarried counterparts, reports a study published online August 22 in Health Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association.

 

Researchers find increase in infection rates in patients with cardiac electrophysiological devices

Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators studied in 16-year analysis of infection trends

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (August 18, 2011) - New research from the Jefferson Heart Institute shows that patients in the United States who receive cardiac electrophysiological devices (CIEDs), including permanent pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are now at greater risk of contracting an infection over the life span of the device.

 

Large weight gains most likely for men after divorce, women after marriage

 

Las Vegas, Nev., USA (August 22, 2011) — Both marriage and divorce can act as "weight shocks," leading people to add a few extra pounds—especially among those over age 30—according to new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

 

Good ruminations or bad ruminations in the depressed brain?

 

Philadelphia, PA, USA (August 22, 2011) - All of us, at times, ruminate or brood on a problem in order to make the best possible decision in a complex situation. But sometimes, rumination becomes unproductive or even detrimental to making good life choices. Such is the case in depression, where non-productive ruminations are a common and distressing symptom of the disorder. In fact, individuals suffering from depression often ruminate about being depressed. This ruminative thinking can be either passive and maladaptive (i.e., worrying) or active and solution-focused (i.e., coping). New research by Stanford University researchers, published in Elsevier's Biological Psychiatry, provides insights into how these types of rumination are represented in the brains of depressed persons.

 

The ignored virus that causes liver cancer

Should we be screening blood for hepatisi G?

 

Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia (August 22, 2011) - Hepatitis G virus was identified in 1995. Some little research was carried out on the virus and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared it a non-harmful virus in 1997. Researchers in Saudi Arabia, writing in the International Journal of Immunological Studies present evidence to suggest that this may have been the wrong decision. They claim that transmission of the virus through donated blood that was not screened for the virus as well as infection through other routes has led to an increase in cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

 

Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline

 

Toronto, Canada (August 22, 2011) – Older adults who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease.

 

Effects of prenatal smoking on infant neurodevelopment may be worse than feared: study

 

Chicago, Ill., USA (August 22, 2011) - In one of the largest studies of its kind to date, researchers have found that babies born to mothers who smoke while pregnant face substantial delays in early neurological development, and the effects may be stronger than researchers had previously thought.

 

17 percent of cancer nurses unintentionally exposed to chemotherapy, U-M study finds

Researchers stress importance of implementing nurse safety measures around these highly toxic drugs

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich., USA (August 22, 2011) — Nearly 17 percent of nurses who work in outpatient chemotherapy infusion centers reported being exposed on their skin or eyes to the toxic drugs they deliver, according to a new study from the University of Michigan (U-M) Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

Better mattresses improve care, cut hospital costs

 

Toronto, Canada (August 17, 2011) — Hospitals could reduce health care costs arising from pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, by investing in pressure-reduction mattresses for elderly patients in emergency departments, according to new research from the University of Toronto.