ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
The Uninsured - Medicine and Society
Decreasing Self-Perceived Health Status Despite Rising Health Expenditures - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers
ABSTRACT: Despite steady increases in U.S. health care spending, the population's self-perceived health status has been in a long-term decline. Increased support for public health, prevention, and primary care could reduce growth in spending and improve actual and perceived health.
ABSTRACT: Approximately 1.5 million Americans reside in nursing homes. A family physician often leads the interdisciplinary team that provides for the medical, functional, emotional, nutritional, social, and environmental needs of these patients. The treatment of nursing home residents is a dynamic process of ongoing assessment, transitions, and shifting care plans. The clinical assessment of nursing home residents focuses on cognition, mood, disability, skin integrity, and medication management. Advance care planning includes the development of realistic goals of care with the patient and family that go beyond living wills and do-not-resuscitate orders. The nursing home medical record and Minimum Data Set document the interdisciplinary findings and care plan. Transitions between different health care environments are facilitated by communication among health care professionals and detailed transfer documentation. Palliative care encompasses continuing reassessment of the goals of care; general supportive care (e.g., family, cultural, spiritual); and legal planning. Identifying and reporting resident abuse and neglect, and infection control practices are also essential in nursing home care.
Nutrition and Health - Editorials
Adolescent Health - Core Educational Guidelines
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.
ABSTRACT: Infectious endocarditis results from bacterial or fungal infection of the endocardial surface of the heart and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Risk factors include the presence of a prosthetic heart valve, structural or congenital heart disease, intravenous drug use, and a recent history of invasive procedures. Endocarditis should be suspected in patients with unexplained fevers, night sweats, or signs of systemic illness. Diagnosis is made using the Duke criteria, which include clinical, laboratory, and echocardiographic findings. Antibiotic treatment of infectious endocarditis depends on whether the involved valve is native or prosthetic, as well as the causative microorganism and its antibiotic susceptibilities. Common blood culture isolates include Staphylococcus aureus, viridans Streptococcus, enterococci, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. Valvular structural and functional integrity may be adversely affected in infectious endocarditis, and surgical consultation is warranted in patients with aggressive or persistent infections, emboli, and valvular compromise or rupture. After completion of antibiotic therapy, patients should be educated about the importance of daily dental hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and the need for antibiotic prophylaxis before certain procedures.
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.
Undetected Childhood Sexual Trauma and Its Health Effects in Adults - Curbside Consultation
ABSTRACT: Unintentional weight loss in persons older than 65 years is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The most common etiologies are malignancy, nonmalignant gastrointestinal disease, and psychiatric conditions. Overall, nonmalignant diseases are more common causes of unintentional weight loss in this population than malignancy. Medication use and polypharmacy can interfere with taste or cause nausea and should not be overlooked. Social factors may contribute to unintentional weight loss. A readily identifiable cause is not found in 16% to 28% of cases. Recommended tests include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, liver function tests, thyroid function tests, C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, glucose measurement, lactate dehydrogenase measurement, and urinalysis. Chest radiography and fecal occult blood testing should be performed. Abdominal ultrasonography may also be considered. When baseline evaluation is unremarkable, a three- to six-month observation period is justified. Treatment focuses on the underlying cause. Nutritional supplements and flavor enhancers, and dietary modification that takes into account patient preferences and chewing or swallowing disabilities may be considered. Appetite stimulants may increase weight but have serious adverse effects and no evidence of decreased mortality.