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January 2, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Doctor-patient communication plays role in drug adherence
    Doctors who establish a good, trusting relationship with patients may be able to help improve adherence to prescriptions, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests. Data on 9,377 patients using blood glucose, blood pressure or cholesterol drugs showed 30% may not have been following prescribed directions for medication use, but that number fell 4% to 6% among patients who reported having better communication with their physicians. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • Review: Slightly obese patients show lower mortality risk
    Overweight and slightly obese participants showed a 6% lower mortality risk compared with their normal-weight counterparts, according to an analysis of almost 100 studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, morbid obesity was still associated with a nearly 30% increased risk of dying, researchers said. Reuters (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pediatric group issues guidelines on C. difficile infection
    The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines urging providers to look for other possible causes whenever infants test positive for Clostridium difficile since they normally have high colonization rates with the bacteria. Infants should only be tested for C. difficile when there's an outbreak or when the patient has Hirschsprung disease or other severe motility disorders, the group said. "For children older than 3 years, testing can be performed in the same manner as for older children and adults," AAP said. MedPage Today (free registration) (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Differences between branded drugs, generics may reduce adherence
    Differences in color and shape between branded drugs and their generic counterparts may be connected with prescription nonadherence, according to a controlled study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Changes between generic products with different physical characteristics may cause confusion and result in reduced adherence or prescription error," researchers wrote. "Taking steps to permit (or even require) similarity in pill appearance among bioequivalent brand-name and generic drugs may offer another way to achieve better patient adherence to essential medication regimens." Medscape (free registration) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Oral cleft defects occur in U.S.
    The CDC found that an estimated 7,000 U.S. children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate annually. Treatment for these conditions yields excellent outcomes, an expert said. A March of Dimes report cited prenatal smoking as the biggest risk factor for oral clefts. HealthDay News (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Mobile apps seen as one of top medical trends for 2013
    Smartphones were included as one of the top six medical innovations that will help fight disease for 2013, according to this article. The report points to an iPhone application recently receiving government approval that will provide doctors with a mobile electrocardiogram, as well as apps that help patients monitor potential skin cancer threats. "I see the smartphone as one piece of how we're going to try to get health costs under control," says Dr. David Albert, who invented a recently approved electrocardiogram application for the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
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  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • After-hours PCP care may curb ED visits, unmet health needs
    Patients who had less difficulty reaching their primary care physicians after business hours were less likely to visit the emergency department and had fewer unmet medical needs than those who were not able to reach their doctors after hours, according to a report in Health Affairs. An AAFP member survey showed almost half had expanded office hours. "We believe that having appropriate access to care is part of the patient-centered medical home,” said AAFP President Jeffrey Cain, M.D. American Medical News (free content) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Technology brings new meaning to being there for one special patient
    Physicians need to be there for patients and families even when we can't be there physically. Reaching out through texting, tweeting, Skype or other online methods might not seem as intimate as an office visit, but these technologies allow distant connections to be maintained and even grow. Academy President-elect Reid Blackwelder, M.D., offers his own story in the latest AAFP Leader Voices Blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about AAFP ->Home Page  |  AAFP News Now  |  AAFP CareerLink  |  AAFP CME Center  |  Connect to the AAFP

  SmartQuote 
Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them."
--Rose Kennedy,
American philanthropist


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About AAFP
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in AAFP SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to http://aafp.org.

External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.

 
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