ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Substance abuse in adolescents is undertreated in the United States. Family physicians are well positioned to recognize substance use in their patients and to take steps to address the issue before use escalates. Comorbid mental disorders among adolescents with substance abuse include depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Office-, home-, and school-based drug testing is not routinely recommended. Screening tools for adolescent substance abuse include the CRAFFT questionnaire. Family therapy is crucial in the management of adolescent substance use disorders. Although family physicians may be able to treat adolescents with substance use disorders in the office setting, it is often necessary and prudent to refer patients to one or more appropriate consultants who specialize specifically in substance use disorders, psychology, or psychiatry. Treatment options include anticipatory guidance, brief therapeutic counseling, school-based drug-counseling programs, outpatient substance abuse clinics, day treatment programs, and inpatient and residential programs. Working within community and family contexts, family physicians can activate and oversee the system of professionals and treatment components necessary for optimal management of substance misuse in adolescents.
ABSTRACT: Confusion in the elderly patient is usually a symptom of delirium or dementia, but it may also occur in major depression and psychoses. Until another cause is identified, the confused patient should be assumed to have delirium, which is often reversible with treatment of the underlying disorder. Causes of delirium include metabolic disorders, infections and medications. Thyroid dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies and normal-pressure hydrocephalus are some potentially reversible causes of dementia. Major irreversible causes include Alzheimer's disease, central nervous system damage and human immunodeficiency virus infection. All but the rarest causes of confusion can usually be identified based on the complete history, medication review, physical examination, mental status evaluation and laboratory evaluation with longitudinal reevaluation.
ABSTRACT: Patients receiving antidepressant monotherapy may be partially or totally resistant to treatment in 10 to 30 percent of cases. In patients who have experienced only partial treatment results, the clinician should first consider optimizing antidepressant dosage or lengthening therapy. Antidepressant drug substitution should generally be reserved for use in patients who haven't responded at all (nonresponders). Combining two or more antidepressants is generally not recommended, as this approach may obscure adequate monotherapy evaluation and lead to significant adverse effects or drug-drug interactions. Use of electroconvulsive therapy is recommended in patients with psychotic and severe refractory depression. Augmentation therapy is often efficacious in patients who exhibit a partial antidepressant response. Lithium and thyroid hormone have been the most extensively studied augmentative agents but, more recently, pindolol and buspirone have also been used for this purpose.
Health Screening in Older Women - Article
ABSTRACT: Health screening is an important aspect of health promotion and disease prevention in women over 65 years of age. Screening efforts should address conditions that cause significant morbidity and mortality in this age group. In addition to screening for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer, primary care physicians should identify risk factors unique to an aging population. These factors include hearing and vision loss, dysmobility or functional impairment, osteoporosis, cognitive and affective disorders, urinary incontinence and domestic violence. Although screening for many conditions cannot be proved to merit an "A" recommendation (indicating conclusive proof of benefit), special attention to these factors can decrease morbidity and improve quality of life in aging women.
ABSTRACT: Older adults often deny feeling sad while exhibiting other characteristics of depression. Elderly patients with depression who do not present with sadness often have unexplained somatic complaints and exhibit a sense of hopelessness. Anxiety and anhedonia (a general loss of ability to feel pleasure) are also encountered frequently. Other features that may indicate underlying depression include slowness of movement and lack of interest in personal care. A screening device, such as the Center for Epidemiologic Studies--Depression Scale, Revised (CES-D-R), may identify depression in suspicious cases. When this condition is identified, treatment should generally include the use of an antidepressant medication, usually a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
Chronic Insomnia: A Practical Review - Article
ABSTRACT: Insomnia has numerous, often concurrent etiologies, including medical conditions, medications, psychiatric disorders and poor sleep hygiene. In the elderly, insomnia is complex and often difficult to relieve because the physiologic parameters of sleep normally change with age. In most cases, however, a practical management approach is to first consider depression, medications, or both, as potential causes. Sleep apnea also should be considered in the differential assessment. Regardless of the cause of insomnia, most patients benefit from behavioral approaches that focus on good sleep habits. Exposure to bright light at appropriate times can help realign the circadian rhythm in patients whose sleep-wake cycle has shifted to undesirable times. Periodic limb movements during sleep are very common in the elderly and may merit treatment if the movements cause frequent arousals from sleep. When medication is deemed necessary for relief of insomnia, a low-dose sedating antidepressant or a nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic may offer advantages over traditional sedative-hypnotics. Longterm use of long-acting benzodiazepines should, in particular, be avoided. Melatonin may be helpful when insomnia is related to shift work and jet lag; however, its use remains controversial.
ABSTRACT: The number of persons 65 years of age and older continues to increase dramatically in the United States. Comprehensive health maintenance screening of this population is becoming an important task for primary care physicians. As outlined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, assessment categories unique to elderly patients include sensory perception and injury prevention. Geriatric patients are at higher risk of falling for a number of reasons, including postural hypotension, balance or gait impairment, polypharmacy (more than three prescription medications) and use of sedative-hypnotic medications. Interventional areas that are common to other age groups but have special implications for older patients include immunizations, diet and exercise, and sexuality. Cognitive ability and mental health issues should also be evaluated within the context of the individual patient's social situation-not by screening all patients but by being alert to the occurrence of any change in mental function. Using an organized approach to the varied aspects of geriatric health, primary care physicians can improve the care that they provide for their older patients.
Pathologic Gambling - Article
ABSTRACT: Pathologic gambling and problem gambling affect approximately 5 to 15 million Americans and are common in young people. The community-minded family physician is in a good position to identify and assist patients who have gambling-related problems and thereby prevent or treat the resultant personal, family and social disruptions. Provider and community education about the depth and breadth of this condition is crucial for the identification and treatment of a growing problem. As with many psychologic conditions, identification of the disorder and treatment of the patient by the family physician comprise the primary treatment. Screening tools, treatment programs and self-help groups provide additional resources for the family physician. An illustrative case report demonstrates the importance of heightened awareness of and screening for this common condition.
Depression and Sexual Desire - Article
ABSTRACT: Decreased libido disproportionately affects patients with depression. The relationship between depression and decreased libido may be blurred, but treating one condition frequently improves the other. Medications used to treat depression may decrease libido and sexual function. Frequently, patients do not volunteer problems related to sexuality, and physicians rarely ask about such problems. Asking a depressed patient about libido and sexual function and tailoring treatment to minimize adverse effects on sexual function can significantly increase treatment compliance and improve the quality of the patient's life.
Screening Instruments for Depression - Point-of-Care Guides