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November 11, 2010, 7:40 AM CT

Bed Rest Has Down Side For Pregnant Women

Bed Rest Has Down Side For Pregnant Women
Despite lack of evidence about bed rest's effectiveness, doctors annually prescribe it for roughly 1 million pregnant women to delay preterm births.

Judith Maloni, professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, said a comprehensive review of more than 70 evidence-based research articles challenges whether this is healthy for mothers - or their babies.

She makes her report in the article, "Antepartum Bed Rest for Pregnancy Complications: Efficacy and Safety for Preventing Preterm Birth," in the special women's health issue of Biological Research for Nursing.

In it, she raises concerns about the physical and emotional impact on bedridden mothers and notes that hospital stays deny women the opportunity to rest in the comfort of their homes, with the support of their families.

Maloni points to gaps in the current literature and suggests that more evidence is needed.

Gaps in research also exist if bed rest harms or benefits the baby, Maloni said.

Bed rest for pregnant women experiencing early contractions or other pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure, multiple babies, potential blood clotting or bleeding, can be prescribed for a few days or a few months.

Since 1989, Maloni has been a leader in the study of best rest during pregnancy. Her current research draws from study in the fields of aerospace, nursing, medicine, psychology, social science and biological sciences.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


November 11, 2010, 7:38 AM CT

Stress on Clinicians Can Be Measured

Stress on Clinicians Can Be Measured
It's no surprise that being a doctor is a very stressful job and carries a lot of responsibility with it.

But two new studies from scientists at the University of Cincinnati indicate that the stressors arising from work in the clinic, where physicians are seeing patients one-on-one, can effectively be measured with hopes of improving patient care and doctor job satisfaction.

Ronnie Horner, PhD, and C. Jeff Jacobson, PhD, both scientists in the department of public health sciences, say their studies, reported in the online editions of the journal Medical Care on Oct. 29 and Nov. 9, showed that certain known measurement tools for assessing non-clinical work intensity can also be used to determine doctor work intensity in clinical settings.

"Work intensity for physicians during office-based patient care affects quality of care and patient safety as well as job satisfaction and reimbursement," says Horner. "There are existing intensity measures that have been used in prior studies of the work environment, but their validity in a clinical office setting hasn't been established".

Horner, Jerzy Szaflarski, MD, PhD, a researcher in the department of neurology and co-author on Horner's study, and Jacobson studied two main instruments: the NASA-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) and the Subjective Workload Evaluation Technique (SWAT).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 11, 2010, 7:35 AM CT

Growing crisis in kidney care

Growing crisis in kidney care
An estimated 26 million people, 13% of the United States population, are living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and this number continues to grow. If current trends continue, there will not be enough doctors to serve this expanding patient population.

To help address this crisis, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is convening a Summit on the Nephrology Workforce during its upcoming ASN Renal Week 2010 in Denver, Colorado, on November 17. Participants will discuss this crisis, its implications, and strategies to increase the number of kidney disease doctors in the United States.

"The ASN leadership is deeply concerned whether there will be enough nephrologists in the future to meet the growing demand for kidney specialists," explains ASN Councilor Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN, who chairs the ASN Task Force on Increasing Interest in Nephrology Careers.

The ASN Task Force is working to increase interest in kidney disease among medical students and internal medicine residents, especially among underrepresented minorities and women. During the summit, Dr. Molitoris will present the task force's final recommendations, which include ways to improve faculty development, encourage mentorship, and increase grant support for students to learn more about how nephrologists conduct research and improve lives of patients.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 11, 2010, 7:12 AM CT

Pleasurable Behaviors Reduce Stress

Pleasurable Behaviors Reduce Stress
Whether it's food or sex, pleasurable activity provides more than just pleasure, University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists say. It actually reduces stress by inhibiting anxiety responses in the brain.

The findings were published online Nov. 8, 2010, ahead of print in PNAS, the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences.

Experiments designed by Yvonne Ulrich-Lai, PhD, research assistant professor, James Herman, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Stress Neurobiology and professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at UC, and his colleagues also indicated that the reduced-stress effects continued for at least seven days, suggesting a long-term benefit.

"These findings give us a clearer understanding of the motivation for consuming 'comfort food' during times of stress," says Ulrich-Lai. "But it's important to note that, based on our findings, even small amounts of pleasurable foods can reduce the effects of stress".

The scientists provided rats twice daily access to a sugar solution for two weeks, then tested the rats' physiological and behavioral responses to stress. Compared with controls, rats with access to sugar exhibited reduced heart rate and stress hormone levels while placed in ventilated restraint tubes and were more willing to explore an unfamiliar environment and socially interact with other rats.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 10, 2010, 7:35 AM CT

Number Talk Is Important Before Preschool

Number Talk Is Important Before Preschool
New research published in an article titled "What Counts in the Development of Young Children's Number Knowledge?" in the current issue of Developmental Psychology suggests parents should talk to their children about numbers early and often.

Credit: ©2010 Jupiter Images Corporation
The amount of time parents spend talking about numbers has a much bigger impact on how young children learn mathematics than was previously known, scientists at the University of Chicago have found.

For example, children whose parents talked more about numbers were much more likely to understand the cardinal number principle--which states that the size of a set of objects is determined by the last number reached when counting the set (e.g., a set of 10 items is larger than a set of seven items).

"By the time children enter preschool, there are marked individual differences in their mathematical knowledge, as shown by their performance on standardized tests," said University of Chicago psychology expert Susan Levine, the Stella M. Rowley Professor in Psychology and the leader of the study. Other studies have shown that the level of mathematics knowledge entering school predicts future success.

The results of the study were reported in the article, "What Counts in the Development of Young Children's Number Knowledge?" in the current issue of Developmental Psychology. Joining main author Levine in the study were four other scholars.

"The findings underscore the important role that caregivers can play in children's early mathematical learning," said Soo-Siang Lim, program director for the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Centers Program. NSF partially funded the research.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 10, 2010, 7:33 AM CT

Timely Depression Diagnosis Critical

Timely Depression Diagnosis Critical
Lorraine Phillips, assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing.
Depression affects approximately 30 to 40 percent of nursing home residents, but it often goes unrecognized, as per American Geriatrics Society, which can lead to lower quality of life or even suicide. Now, scientists at the University of Missouri have found a series of indicators, other than changes in mood that are linked to the development of depression in nursing home residents.

"Prompt diagnosis and therapy of depression is essential to improve the quality of life for nursing home residents," said Lorraine Phillips, assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing. "A number of elderly people develop certain clinical characteristics at the same time they develop depression. Understanding these changes is essential to quickly and accurately diagnosing depression in nursing home residents".

Changes in characteristics that Phillips found to be linked to the development of depression include increased verbal aggression, urinary incontinence, increased pain, weight loss, changes in care needs, reduced cognitive ability and decline in performance of daily living activities.

"Depression is currently diagnosed using several methods that emphasize mood symptoms including interviewing and self-reporting of depression symptoms," Phillips said. "However, since elderly depression may appear with non-mood symptoms, these characteristics identified in this study can help diagnose depression that appears to be overlooked by traditional screening methods".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 10, 2010, 7:24 AM CT

Attacking the drinking culture on college campuses

Attacking the drinking culture on college campuses
A multi-tiered effort designed to stem binge drinking at a large university and to change the drinking culture among its students produced notable results during the 2.5 years of an Indiana University study.

Freshmen living on campus showed significant drops in the average number of drinks consumed in a week; in the percentage who drank at least once a week in the last year; and in the proportion of students who engaged in binge drinking in the prior week.

Heavy drinking by college students and the associated consequences -- poor health and academic performance, riskier and more irresponsible behavior -- are problems on university campuses and in college towns nationwide. The program assessed by the IU study attacked the problem at three levels -- at the individual level through a mandated online class, at the peer level, through special training for resident assistants, and at an environmental level with educational campaigns that combined community and university resources.

"An ecologically guided, multi-tiered approach may be critical for success," said Dong-Chul Seo, associate professor in the Department of Applied Health Science at IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "The Task Force of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism concluded in 2002 that to significantly reduce drinking on college campuses, the culture must be changed and that all the three tiers (individual, peer, and environment) must be intervened. This has been widely advocated by college administrators and researchers. But, there is still a paucity of data on the effectiveness of such interventions."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 9, 2010, 10:52 PM CT

Overcoming the IVF Baby Blues

Overcoming the IVF Baby Blues
Between 20 and 30 percent of women who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures suffer from significant symptoms of depression. A number of practitioners think that the hormone treatment involved in IVF procedures is primarily responsible for this. But new research from Tel Aviv University shows that, while this is true, other factors are even more influential.

As per Dr. Miki Bloch of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, stress, pre-existing depression, and anxiety are more likely than hormone treatment to impact a woman's depression levels when undergoing IVF. Combined, these factors may also affect IVF success rates - so diagnosis and therapy of this depression is very important.

Recently published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, Dr. Bloch's research clarifies the involvement of different hormonal states as triggers for depression during IVF, both for long- and short-term protocols.

The long and short stories

In the long-term IVF protocol, explains Dr. Bloch, women receive injections which block ovulation, resulting in a sharp decline in estrogen and progesterone levels. This state continues for a two-week period before the patient is injected with hormones to stimulate ovulation, at which point the eggs are harvested and fertilized before being replanted into the womb. The short-term IVF protocol, conversely, does not include the initial two-week period of induction of a low hormonal state.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


November 9, 2010, 10:36 PM CT

Clot-busting drug in stroke patients

Clot-busting drug in stroke patients
The clot-busting drug rt-PA remains the most beneficial proven emergency therapy for strokes caused by blood clots, as per an editorial in the recent issue of Archives of Neurology by Dr. Jos Biller.

"The benefits of therapy outweigh the risks in patients treated with intravenous rt-PA within 4.5 hours of symptom onset," Biller wrote. Biller is chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert on stroke care.

Most strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by blood clots that block blood flow in the brain. Brain cells begin dying when they are starved of blood supply. But if administered soon enough, an IV drug known as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) can dissolve clots, restore blood flow and limit damage.

Biller's editorial is about a study, reported in the same issue, by Dr. Ioan-Paul Muresan and his colleagues at Assistance Publique -- Hopitaux de Paris. The study observed that stroke patients who show improvement within one hour of receiving rt-PA were more likely to do well three months later,.

Scientists followed 120 patients who received rt-PA and observed that 22 (18.3 percent) showed significant improvement within one hour of therapy. After three months, 15 of these patients (68.2 percent) had a favorable outcome. By comparison, only 29.6 percent of patients who did not show early improvement had a favorable outcome at three months.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


November 8, 2010, 7:56 AM CT

Chefs can create reduced-calorie restaurant foods

Chefs can create reduced-calorie restaurant foods
Restaurants could play an important role in helping to reduce the growing obesity epidemic by creating reduced-calorie meals, as per Penn State researchers.

The scientists surveyed chefs, restaurant owners, and culinary executives from across the country to assess their perceptions of serving healthy foods in restaurants.

In the survey, 72 percent of the 432 respondents said they could trim off 10 percent of the calories in meals without customers noticing differences in taste, and 21 percent said they could trim off at least 25 percent of the calories. This small change could lead to a major impact on the obesity epidemic.

"Reducing intake by as little as 100 calories per day can amount to a significant weight loss over a year," says Liane Roe, research nutritionist in Penn State's Department of Nutritional Sciences and co-author on the team's findings, which appeared in Obesity

Roe and co-author Barbara Rolls, holder of the Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition, observed that a number of chefs were not familiar with the calorie content of the meals they served -- 7 percent were not at all familiar and 49 percent were somewhat familiar.

"If a large number of chefs don't know the calorie content of their food, they will be limited in their ability to modify what they serve to guests," said Roe.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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