As I did on my posts of November 30, 2011, October 2, 2012,September 17, 2013, June 3, 2014, February 24, 2015, and December 15, 2015, it’s time once again to look over the highlights of the latest issue of one of my two favorite psychiatry journals, Duh! and No Sh*t, Sherlock. We'll take a look at the unsurprising findings published in the latest issue of the latter My comments are in bronze.As I pointed out in those earlier posts, research dollars are very limited and therefore precious. Why waste good money trying to study new, cutting edge or controversial ideas that might turn out to be wrong, when we can study things that that are already known to be true but have yet to be "proven"? Such an approach increases the success rate of studies almost astronomically. And studies with positive results are far more likely to be published than those that come up negative.This last six months has been such a treasure trove of studies of the obvious, my descriptions of the individual studies listed will be a little briefer than usual.
12/15/15. Adolescents Who Abuse Prescription Pain Medicines May Be More Likely To Have Sex, Participate In Risky Sexual Behaviors.
HealthDay (12/15, Haelle) reports that adolescents who abuse prescription pain medications may be “more likely to have sex or to participate in risky sexual behaviors,” a study published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics suggests. Impulsive, self destructive people were, I guess, previously thought to be highly selective in which impulses to indulge.
12/15/15. Study Shows Reduced Patient Satisfaction When Computers Are Used Excessively In Exam Rooms.
On the front of its Personal Journal section, the Wall Street Journal (12/15, D1, Reddy, Subscription Publication) reports on a study published last month in JAMA Internal Medicine, which found that patients whose doctors spent a lot of time looking at a computer screen during examinations rated their care lower. And here we thought that patients just hate doctors who pay close attention to them and listen carefully.
12/23/15. College Students Who Smoke Marijuana Appear More Likely Than Their Peers To Skip Classes.
HealthDay (12/23, Norton) reports, “College students who smoke marijuana appear more likely than their peers to skip classes – which eventually leads to poorer grades and later graduation,” a study published in the September issue of the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors suggests. This finding is just so difficult to explain.1/6/16. Many single mothers with minor children are sleep-deprived, CDC finds.The Los Angeles Times (1/6, Kaplan) reports in “Science Now” that a data brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reveals that “44% of single moms living with children under the age of 18 fall short of recommendations to get at least seven hours of shut-eye each night.” Thirty-eight percent of single fathers who live with their children “sleep less than seven hours per night,” the report found. I just don't understand why these parents can't make their days last more than the usual 24 hours.
1/22/16. Prevention Programs for Youth Most Effective When At-Risk Families Are Clinically Stable
Programs that teach stress management and cognitive-restructuring skills may help to prevent the onset of depression in teens at high risk for depression, but how effective they are appears to depend largely on the mental health of youth and their parents when the intervention begins, according to a study published online this week in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. At last the long-sought proof that the more severe a disorder, the worse the prognosis tends to be.3/1/16. Study finds children who face adversity before age 5 struggle in schoolKaiser Health News (2/29, Gillespie) reports a studypublished in the journal Pediatrics found that “adverse childhood experiences [ACEs] before age 5,” including “neglect, abuse and dysfunctional home lives,” were associated “with poor academic and behavioral performance in kindergarten.” These researchers just don't understand that these kids just have ADHD.
3/2/16. Study Suggests Factors Predictive of Violent Behavior in People With Mental Illness
Results from a meta-analysis in Psychiatric Services in Advance shows that three factors may be associated with an increased risk for adults with mental illnesses to commit community violence in the near future. They are alcohol use, exhibiting violent behaviors, and being a victim of violence within the past six months. Booze fuels violence? Past behavior a predictor of future behavior? Who'd'a thunk??
3/16/16. Disruptive patients may get worse care from physicians, studies find
HealthDay (3/15, Dotinga) reports, “‘Disruptive’ patients may get worse care from physicians,” studies suggest. Can't be. Doctors have been trained to be completely unaffected by annoying people.
3/17/16. Low-Income People Exposed To Rats In Urban Environment May Be More Likely To Have Depressive Symptoms, Study Finds.
According to the NBC News (3/16, Fox) website, a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of Community Psychology reveals that “people living in Baltimore’s low-income neighborhoods who see rats as a big problem are significantly more likely to have depressive symptoms such as sadness and anxiety.” Poverty was previously thought to be an uplifting experience.3/21/16. Because they'd look so forward to going through post partum depression again! Women Who Have Had Postpartum Depression May Not Have More than Two Children, Study Indicates.HealthDay (3/18, Preidt) reported, “Women who’ve had postpartum depression may not have more than two children,” the findings of a study published in the January issue of Evolution, Medicine and Public Health suggest. Depression was thought to be so much fun that everyone wanted to go through it as many times as possible.
4/21/16. Eating Disorders May Be More Prevalent At Schools With A Greater Proportion Of Female Students.
HealthDay (4/20, Preidt) reports, “Eating disorders may be more prevalent at schools where a greater portion of the student body is female,” research suggests. I just never noticed the higher prevalence of women among patients with anorexia and bulemia.
4/25/16. Exposure To Traumatic Events May Be Associated With A Host Of Potential Negative Behavioral And Physical Effects, Report Finds.
Medscape (4/25, Melville) reports, “Exposure to one or more potentially traumatic events in a lifetime is associated with a host of potential negative behavioral and physical effects, ranging from mental illness and depression to substance abuse, asthma, and” hypertension, the findings of a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality indicate. Traumatic experiences are hard on the mind and body? What a shock!4/28/16. Cancer diagnosis may be associated with increased risk for anxiety, depressionHealthDay (4/28, Preidt) reports that researchpublished in JAMA Oncology “details the psychological damage” a cancer diagnosis “often leaves in its wake for patients.” Investigators “found much higher rates of anxiety, depression and even drug and alcohol abuse for those who’ve been told ‘you have cancer,’ compared to healthier people.” Healio (4/28) reports that the study indicated “the risk for mental disorders appeared stronger among patients whose cancers had poorer prognoses.” Cancer: another thing that was previously thought to be an uplifting experience.5/25/16. Severely Obese Children Picked On, Bullied More Than Normal-Weight Kids. HealthDay (5/25, Reinberg) reports, “As early as first grade, severely obese children are getting teased, picked on and bullied more than normal-weight kids,” research published online May 25 in Child Development indicates. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after gathering “data on nearly 1,200 first graders from 29 rural schools in Oklahoma.” Did these researchers ever go to grade school?
5/27/16. Depressed Patients Who Attempt Suicide Four Or More Times May Have Higher Risk Of Eventually Dying By Suicide, Research Suggests.
Medscape (5/26, Brooks) reports, “Depressed patients who attempt suicide four or more times have a higher risk of eventually dying by suicide compared with their depressed peers who have never attempted suicide or who have done so fewer times,” research suggests. The fifth time is the charm.5/31/15. Childhood Trauma May Increase Risk of Adolescent Drug Use, Study Shows. Children who experience traumatic events prior to the age of 11 may be more likely to use marijuana, cocaine, nonmedical prescription drugs, or other drugs as teens, according to a report online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Still further evidence that traumatic experiences affect psychological adjustment? Still such a shock, I just can't get over it.!6/2/16. Higher out of pocked costs lead to reduced adherence! A literature review of 160 articles and abstracts* identified a clear relationship between cost sharing, adherence, and outcomes. Of the articles that evaluated the relationship between changes in out-of-pocket costs and adherence, 85% showed that increasing patient out-of-pocket medication costs leads to reduced adherence. Did these researcher ever hear of the law of supply and demand? Guess not.6/16/16. Hospital deaths more costly and involve more tests and procedures than deaths at home, analysis suggests.On its website, NPR (6/15, Kodjak) reports people who die in hospitals “undergo more intense tests and procedures than those who die anywhere else” and that more is spent on people dying in hospitals compared to people who die at home, according to an analysis by Arcadia Healthcare Solutions. I was wondering about that (not!)
6/27/16. For Teens, Living With Parents Who Have Chronic Migraine May Negatively Affect Activities Of Daily Life, School Performance.
Medscape (6/24, Davenport) reported, “For adolescents, living with parents who have chronic migraine has a negative effect on activities of daily life and on school performance and is associated with increased rates of anxiety,” research suggests. Parental misery and pain were previously thought to have no effect on childrearing and children whatsoever.
7/1/16. Problem Of Missed Medication May Increase With Age, Failing Memory.
HealthDay (6/30, Preidt) reports that a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society “suggests that the problem of missed” medication “rises with age and failing memory, especially for men.” The investigators found that other factors linked to “medication lapses” were “memory deficits” and having “trouble with the tasks of everyday living.” Gee, people with memory problems forget things.
7/8/16. Severe Diabetic Retinopathy May Be Associated With Depression, Study Suggests.
MedPage Today (7/7, Minerd) reports, “Severe diabetic retinopathy...was linked to depression, and its presence should prompt clinicians to inquire about a patient’s mental health,” research suggested. The findings of the 519-patient study were published online July 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology. Blindness is still one more thing that was previously thought to be an uplifting experience. I wonder how many other things that were once thought to joyful actually are not.