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March 30, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • PBS documentary shows daily life of Alzheimer's patient
    The PBS documentary "You're Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don't" chronicles the daily activities of Alzheimer's patient Lee Gorewitz, who lives in a Danville, Calif., residential care center. The film follows Gorewitz at the "heartbreaking stage of the disease," when she is still mobile and can converse but is not in control of her words and thoughts, this reviewer says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Oncologists may not detect patient-caregiver conflict, study finds
    A study showed oncologists often are not aware of disagreements between patients and their caregivers over treatments such as tests or hospice care, Virginia Commonwealth University researchers reported in the journal Lung Cancer. Researcher Laura Siminoff said oncologists usually do not explore the issue, and patients might not feel comfortable talking about disagreements in front of family. The Hartford Courant (Conn.)/Reuters (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • ABA book covers advance directives, end-of-life decisions
    A new American Bar Association book, "The ABA Checklist for Family Heirs: A Guide to Family History, Financial Plans and Final Wishes," covers end-of-life care planning, incapacitation and advance directives. Author Sally Balch Hurme includes checklists and also covers financial preparations, data collection, final wishes and funeral arrangements. AdvisorOne (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Couple finds hospice encourages living, helps ease death
    Wes Golden of Cary, N.C., who had been diagnosed with aggressive cancer, was skeptical when his physician suggested hospice care, but later he said, "I understand it's not the end. They encourage and work with you to help you live longer." When he died, hospice staff were with his wife, Sheila. "They stayed with me. They gave me great support afterwards," she said. WRAL-TV (Raleigh, N.C.) (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Decline continues for U.S. cancer death rates, CDC says
    The number of cancer-related deaths among adults and children in the U.S. dropped, on average, by about 1.6% annually between 2004 and 2008, according to a report from the CDC and leading cancer groups in the journal Cancer. The report also highlighted the relationship between obesity and cancer and noted that the mortality rates for pancreatic cancer and cancer of the uterus, both associated with obesity, have risen. WebMD (3/28), United Press International (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stroke survivors may be prone to depression, study finds
    About 18% of 1,450 ischemic stroke survivors and more than 14% of transient ischemic attack patients showed depressive symptoms three months after hospitalization, according to a study in the journal Stroke. Researchers also found that almost 70% of stroke and TIA patients diagnosed with persistent depression failed to take antidepressants at either three or 12 months following hospitalization. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (3/29), WebMD (3/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lung cancer patients with higher quality of life live longer
    Researchers who analyzed data on 2,442 lung cancer patients found that those who rated their quality of life higher around the time of their diagnosis survived almost six years compared with less than two years in patients who said their quality of life was poor. Men, current smokers and those with advanced cancer were more likely to give lower ratings to their quality of life. The study appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Reuters (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Patient outcomes don't improve in test of pay-for-performance model
    Hospitals that participated in the Medicare Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration program failed to improve mortality rates for patients with acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, pneumonia or coronary-artery bypass grafting. In the study, Premier hospitals and non-Premier hospitals had similar rates of decline in mortality. The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine. News (3/28), Reuters (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA expands usage recommendations for antidepressant Celexa
    The FDA added recommendations to the label of Forest Laboratories' selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Celexa. The antidepressant should be avoided in patients with certain medical conditions, including congenital long QT syndrome, and those taking medicines that cause prolonged QT interval, the agency said. People who are poor CYP2C19 metabolizers, have liver impairment or are older than 60 should receive a maximum dose of 20 milligrams daily. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • Survey: Seniors want provider to help with monitoring devices
    The Linkage Technology Survey of almost 1,800 seniors showed 40% of those considering a medical monitoring device wanted a clinician to teach them how to use it. The cost of the technology also was a concern among seniors, who were more likely to consider monitoring devices that were less than $50 per month. InformationWeek (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Submit an abstract for the 2013 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly
    Are you interested in presenting at the 2013 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly in New Orleans? AAHPM's call for workshop, concurrent and SIG Symposia abstracts is now open. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Products to help you manage the challenges in the changing hospice environment
    Whether you've recently become a hospice medical director or you’ve had this role for years, these AAHPM products will advance your competence and confidence in the clinical, administrative and regulatory aspects of your work: The Hospice Medical Director Manual, the go-to, easy reference book, and the Hospice Medical Director Course recordings from the 2011 course. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
One is never more on trial than in the moment of excessive good fortune."
--Lew Wallace,
American general, statesman, lawyer and author

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