Items in AFP with MESH term: Health Status

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Religion, Spirituality, and Their Relevance to Medicine: An Update - Editorials


Methadone Therapy for Opioid Dependence - Article

ABSTRACT: The 1999 Federal regulations extend the treatment options of methadone-maintained opioid-dependent patients from specialized clinics to office-based opioid therapy (OBOT). OBOT allows primary care physicians to coordinate methadone therapy in this group with ongoing medical care. This patient group tends to be poorly understood and underserved. Methadone maintenance therapy is the most widely known and well-researched treatment for opioid dependency. Goals of therapy are to prevent abstinence syndrome, reduce narcotic cravings and block the euphoric effects of illicit opioid use. In the first phase of methadone treatment, appropriately selected patients are tapered to adequate steady-state dosing. Once they are stabilized on a satisfactory dosage, it is often possible to address their other chronic medical and psychiatric conditions. The maintenance phase can be used as a long-term therapy until the patient demonstrates the qualities required for successful detoxification. Patients who abuse narcotics have an increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other conditions contributing to increased morbidity and mortality. Short- or long-term pain management problems and surgical needs are also common concerns in opioid-dependent patients and are generally treatable in conjunction with methadone maintenance.


Health Care Management of Adults with Down Syndrome - Article

ABSTRACT: The family physician's holistic approach to patients forms the basis of good health care for adults with Down syndrome. Patients with Down syndrome are likely to have a variety of illnesses, including thyroid disease, diabetes, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hearing loss, atlantoaxial subluxation and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to routine health screening, patients with Down syndrome should be screened for sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, signs and symptoms of spinal cord compression and dementia. Patients with Down syndrome may have an unusual presentation of an ordinary illness or condition, and behavior changes or a loss of function may be the only indication of medical illnesses. Plans for long-term living arrangements, estate planning and custody arrangements should be discussed with the parents or guardians. Because of improvements in health care and better education, and because more people with this condition are being raised at home, most adults with Down syndrome can expect to function well enough to live in a group home and hold a meaningful job.


Exercise and Older Patients: Prescribing Guidelines - Article

ABSTRACT: A combination of aerobic activity, strength training, and flexibility exercises, plus increased general daily activity can reduce medication dependence and health care costs while maintaining functional independence and improving quality of life in older adults. However, patients often do not benefit fully from exercise prescriptions because they receive vague or inappropriate instructions. Effective exercise prescriptions include recommendations on frequency, intensity, type, time, and progression of exercise that follow disease-specific guidelines. Changes in physical activity require multiple motivational strategies including exercise instruction as well as goal-setting, self-monitoring, and problem-solving education. Helping patients identify emotionally rewarding and physically appropriate activities, contingencies, and social support will increase exercise continuation rates and facilitate desirable health outcomes. Through patient contact and community advocacy, physicians can promote lifestyle patterns that are essential for healthy aging.


Update on Immunizations in Children and Adolescents - Article

ABSTRACT: Over the past few years, there have been many changes to the recommendations for children and adolescents by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. These include dividing the immunization schedule into two parts (i.e., ages birth to six years and seven to 18 years, with catch-up schedules for each group); expanding the recommendations for influenza vaccine to children ages six months to 18 years without risk factors; expanding coverage for hepatitis A vaccine to include all children at one year of age; initiating routine immunization with oral rotavirus vaccine given at ages two, four, and six months; and adding a booster dose of varicella vaccine at four to six years of age. The tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap), quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), and quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are routinely recommended for adolescents 11 to 12 years of age. Tdap provides pertussis immunity in addition to the tetanus and diphtheria immunity provided by the tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Td). MCV4 has improved immunogenicity compared with the older meningococcal vaccine. HPV vaccine protects against serotypes 6, 11, 16, and 18, and is given in three doses, ideally at 11 to 12 years of age; the effectiveness increases when the vaccine is given before the onset of sexual activity. Family physicians play an integral role in implementing new immunization recommendations and properly educating patients and families in the increasingly complex armamentarium of prevention.


Diets for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: What Is the Evidence? - Article

ABSTRACT: Patients often initiate commercial dietary plans to reduce obesity and prevent cardiovascular disease. Such plans include very low-carbohydrate, low-carbohydrate, very low-fat, and Mediterranean diets. Published evidence on several popular diets has made it easier for physicians to counsel patients about the health benefits and risks of such plans. Although the Atkins, Zone, Sugar Busters!, and South Beach diets have data proving that they are effective for weight loss and do not increase deleterious disease-oriented outcomes, they have little evidence of patient-oriented benefits. In contrast, the Mediterranean diet has extensive patient-oriented outcome data showing a significant risk reduction in mortality rates and in rates of fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction. The American Heart Association released guidelines in 2006 that integrate recommendations from a variety of diets into a single plan. Physicians should emphasize diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthful fatty acids and that limit saturated fat intake. A stepwise individualized patient approach, with incorporation of one or two dietary interventions every three to six months, may be a practical way to help reduce a patient's cardiovascular disease risk.


Long-Term Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet - Editorials


AAP statement on sports participation in children and adolescents. - Practice Guidelines


Medical Needs of Foster Children - Editorials


Food Insecurity in the United States: Its Effect on Our Patients - Editorials


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