Items in AFP with MESH term: Counseling
Assessing Nicotine Dependence - Article
ABSTRACT: Family physicians can assess the smoking behavior of their patients in a few minutes, using carefully chosen questions. The CAGE questionnaire for smoking (modified from the familiar CAGE questionnaire for alcoholism), the "four Cs" test and the FagerstrÃ¶m Test for Nicotine Dependence help make the diagnosis of nicotine dependence based on standard criteria. Additional questions can be used to determine the patient's readiness to change and the nature of the reinforcement the patient receives from smoking. These tools can assist family physicians in guiding patients to quit smoking-the single most important thing smokers can do to improve their health.
ABSTRACT: School-aged children (kindergarten through early adolescence) are establishing patterns of behavior that may last a lifetime; therefore, it is important to counsel these patients about healthy lifestyle practices during well-child examinations. Children and families should be advised to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, beans, fish, and lean meats, while limiting sugar, fast food, and highly processed foods. Children should engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, and screen time (e.g., television, computer, video games) should be limited to no more than one to two hours of quality programming daily. Most school-aged children require 11 hours of sleep per night. Decreased sleep is associated with behavioral issues, decreased concentration at school, and obesity. Children should brush their teeth twice per day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in this age group in the United States, and families should be counseled on traffic, water, sports, and firearm safety. Because high-risk behaviors may start in early adolescence, many experts recommend screening for tobacco, alcohol, and drug use beginning at 11 years of age. Sexually active adolescents should be counseled on protecting against sexually transmitted infections, and should be screened for these infections if indicated.
Speech and Language Delay in Children - Article
ABSTRACT: Speech and language delay in children is associated with increased difficulty with reading, writing, attention, and socialization. Although physicians should be alert to parental concerns and to whether children are meeting expected developmental milestones, there currently is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine use of formal screening instruments in primary care to detect speech and language delay. In children not meeting the expected milestones for speech and language, a comprehensive developmental evaluation is essential, because atypical language development can be a secondary characteristic of other physical and developmental problems that may first manifest as language problems. Types of primary speech and language delay include developmental speech and language delay, expressive language disorder, and receptive language disorder. Secondary speech and language delays are attributable to another condition such as hearing loss, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, physical speech problems, or selective mutism. When speech and language delay is suspected, the primary care physician should discuss this concern with the parents and recommend referral to a speech-language pathologist and an audiologist. There is good evidence that speech-language therapy is helpful, particularly for children with expressive language disorder.
Comforting a Grieving Parent - Curbside Consultation
Bridging the Physician-Counselor Divide - The Last Word
ABSTRACT: Unexpected adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes (e.g., stillbirth, birth trauma, congenital anomalies) present a crisis for the family and the medical care team. In cases of stillbirth, the family physician should be flexible in supporting the parents’ choices, validate the loss, and work as a team with the nursing staff. Psychosocial support includes offering counseling services, assessing women for postpartum depression and anxiety, and considering the effect of the loss on the entire family. Although infants with birth asphyxia or major anomalies may require transfer to facilities with a neonatal intensive care unit, the physician will usually provide ongoing care for the mother in the postpartum period. A comprehensive assessment can determine the etiology of fetal demise in most cases, which may guide future preconception and maternity care. Women with a previous adverse pregnancy outcome may have increased psychological stress in a subsequent pregnancy. Knowledge of community resources will facilitate care for the mother and her partner or family. Physicians may need to seek peer support to cope with their own feelings of loss.
ABSTRACT: Serious health problems, risky behavior, and poor health habits persist among adolescents despite access to medical care. Most adolescents do not seek advice about preventing leading causes of morbidity and mortality in their age group, and physicians often do not find ways to provide it. Although helping adolescents prevent unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, unintentional injuries, depression, suicide, and other problems is a community-wide effort, primary care physicians are well situated to discuss risks and offer interventions. Evidence supports routinely screening for obesity and depression, offering testing for human immunodeficiency virus infection, and screening for other sexually transmitted infections in some adolescents. Evidence validating the effectiveness of physician counseling about unintended pregnancy, gang violence, and substance abuse is scant. However, physicians should use empathic, personal messages to communicate with adolescents about these issues until studies prove the benefits of more specific methods. Effective communication with adolescents requires seeing the patient alone, tailoring the discussion to the individual patient, and understanding the role of the parents and of confidentiality.