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April 6, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Choosing Wisely recommendations include hospice care
    Guidelines developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists for the Choosing Wisely Initiative include a recommendation that late-stage cancer patients who would receive little benefit from chemotherapy be taken off the drugs and given hospice care. Fox Chase Cancer Center oncologist Steven Cohen said he hopes the guideline is a reminder to physicians to talk about hospice early in the treatment phase when it is easier to discuss. WHYY-TV/WHYY-FM (Philadelphia) (4/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Michigan honor students volunteer in Hospi-teen project
    National Honor Society students at Michigan's Harbor Springs High School helped test the Hospi-teen program, which sends students to a hospice to help residents with arts and crafts, baking, games, or holiday activities. The teens received special end-of-life care and hospice training. Neal Zoerhof, 17, called his experience "really fulfilling" and said it meets the needs of residents. Petoskey News-Review (Mich.) (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Intensive diabetes care tied to higher hypoglycemia risk in patients with dementia
    Data on older type 2 diabetes patients who received intensive disease management showed the unadjusted odds ratio of having hypoglycemic episodes was 2.4 in those with dementia and 1.7 in those with cognitive impairment. Researchers said the findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, indicate strict diabetes control may not be useful in patients with comorbid dementia. (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Studies analyze cognitive decline at the end of life
    Two studies from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago document the rapid decline in cognitive function at the end of life and show how being mentally active, through playing games and solving puzzles, can help maintain abilities. The research, published in the journal Neurology, showed that between two to three years before death, memory and thinking abilities declined much faster. While Alzheimer's disease might affect declines early on, other processes appear to affect cognition closer to death. HealthDay News (4/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Benzodiazepine plus opioid effective for dyspnea, study says
    Low-dose adjunctive benzodiazepines work with opioids to treat dyspnea in palliative care patients who have not responded to opioids alone, according to a study of patients in the palliative care program at the University of California, San Francisco. Data showed combining an opioid and a benzodiazepine led to a 2.1-fold jump in the likelihood of improvement in dyspnea. Family Practice News (4/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Being bilingual may help brain deal with dementia
    Being bilingual could help people maintain better "executive processing," suggesting that their brains could cope more effectively with damage caused by dementia, according to a report in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. The research from York University in Toronto suggested if the brain can better cope with dementia it may delay symptoms. National Public Radio/Shots blog (4/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • CMS holds off on independent prescription reviews at nursing homes
    Long-term care facilities will not have to employ independent pharmacists to review residents' prescriptions, but CMS will continue to study prescription problems at the facilities, CMS Deputy Director Jonathan Blum said. Pharmacies that both fill and review prescriptions might face pressure to fill unneeded prescriptions or replace them with higher-priced substitutions, critics say. Bloomberg (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • Mobile app will monitor vital signs remotely
    Adhere 2 Care recently announced it is ready to deploy its mobile Android application that will allow family members and caretakers of patients to access data gathered through sensors or biosensor devices from a cloud-based online portal in the upcoming months. The firm is searching for financial backing of $3 million to roll out the platform that could also be used to locate troops who need immediate care. (4/2) 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 open until Thursday. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Register now for the AAHPM Intensive Board Review Course
    July 12-14 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville. This course will feature content as outlined in the HPM Certification Examination Blueprint, key leaders in the field serving as faculty, and fast paced didactic presentations that focus on salient points followed by panel discussions. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
--John Kenneth Galbraith,
Canadian-American economist

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