Mar 27 2014
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RWJF Scholars in the News: Cultural barriers to care, medical conspiracies, parenting, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast, and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, alumni, and grantees. Some recent examples:

In a Talking Points Memo opinion piece, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumna Paloma Toledo, MD, MPH, writes that while the Affordable Care Act holds the promise of greatly increasing access to care, language and cultural barriers could still stand between Hispanic Americans and quality care. Toledo’s research into why greater numbers of Hispanic women decline epidurals during childbirth revealed that many made the choice due to unfounded worries that it would leave them with chronic back pain or paralysis, or that it would harm their babies. “As physicians, we should ensure that patients understand their pain management choices,” she writes.

More than one in three patients with bloodstream infections receives incorrect antibiotic therapy in community hospitals, according to research conducted by Deverick J. Anderson, MD, an RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars alumnus. Anderson says “it’s a challenge to identify bloodstream infections and treat them quickly and appropriately, but this study shows that there is room for improvement,” reports MedPage Today. Infection Control Today, FierceHealthcare, and HealthDay News also covered Anderson’s findings.

People’s health and wellness can be linked to their zip codes as much as to their genetic codes, according to an essay in Social Science and Medicine co-authored by Helena Hansen, MD, PhD. As a result, Hansen argues, physicians should be trained to understand and identify the social factors that can make their patients sick, HealthLeaders Media reports. Hansen is an RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies received a $7 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant to support the creation of a national resource center for HIV prevention. Dean Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, BSN, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna, sees the center as a way to make sure that all local HIV centers have the “best-in-class evidence” for educational materials for HIV clients and for prevention activities, she tells KSHB (Kansas City).

About half of U.S. adults believe at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to a survey led by Eric Oliver, PhD. In the study, 1,351 adults were asked if they believed any of six common medical conspiracy theories, all of which had distrust of the government or large corporations as a common characteristic. About 49 percent of participants agreed with at least one. The most widely accepted was that the Food and Drug Administration is blocking natural cures for cancer and other diseases because of pressure from drug companies. Oliver, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus, tells Time magazine that people may accept such theories because they are easy to understand. His study was also covered by Salon, Washington Times, Parade, the New York Daily News, and Fox News.

Telemedicine is changing the way medical care is delivered, and “we are at step one of a very, very long race,” Brendan Carr, MD, an RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus told Pain Medicine News. Carr says that while patients tend to embrace telemedicine, winning over clinicians may prove more difficult given how new it is, and because it poses potential licensing, credentialing, and privacy issues.

In an interview with Nurse.com conducted at the 2013 Oncology Nursing Society national conference, Nalo Hamilton, RN, PhD, MSN, an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar, advises nurses to recognize the contributions they can make to research practice, not let the barriers of time and finances stop them from engaging in research, and realize that all levels of research make a difference in nursing knowledge and patient care.

NPR covers Dalton Conley’s, PhD, MPA, new book: Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask, which Conley says teaches parents how to make sense of the array of parenting literature, and how to apply it to their own child-rearing. An RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus and recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Conley uses the book to provide guidance on the significance of choosing names and the need for children to have outlets for frustration, among other topics. The radio broadcast is available here.

Tags: Barriers to care: cultural, gender and racial, Clinical Scholars, Executive Nurse Fellows, HC Website Feature, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Society Scholars, Health care delivery system, Human Capital, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Medical errors, Nurse Faculty Scholars, Nurses, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research