May 10 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Smell tests for Alzheimer's, "difficult" patients, physicians' social media use, and more.

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

Although losing a sense of smell is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, there is not enough evidence that olfactory identification tests (smell tests) can be a predictor for developing the disease, according to a study co-authored by RWJF/US Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar Gordon Sun, MD. Medical News Today, WebMD, and are among the outlets to report on the findings.

Patients may not be fully participating in decisions about their health—holding back questions or avoiding challenging their physicians—for fear of being labeled “difficult,” a study led by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus Dominick L. Frosch, PhD, finds. "What's interesting to us is these were mostly Caucasian, highly educated, well-to-do people, and they're talking about these difficulties," Frosch told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s difficult to imagine this is easier for people in a less advantageous social position.” Fierce Healthcare also reported on the findings.

The Federation of State Medical Boards recently adopted new guidelines for physicians about social media use and social networking, on the heels of a study led by Clinical Scholar Ryan Greysen, MD, MHS, that finds an increase in reports of doctors not adhering to professional standards online. “Like everyone else, doctors sometimes stumble in their online behaviors and make mistakes in judgment about content they post,” Greysen told Slate. “They think they’re doing nothing wrong but, unfortunately, the disciplinary responses can be a big deal.” Read a press release about the new guidelines. Read more about Greysen’s study.

RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Yonas E. Geda, MD, continues to receive media coverage for her study that finds seniors can reduce their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment through a combination of moderate exercise and such mentally stimulating activities as using a computer. Among the outlets to report on the findings: CBS News, MedPage Today [free subscription], and Consumer Affairs. interviewed RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Susan Hoolahan, MSN, BSN, RN, NA-BC, about the “Top Safety Practices Impacting Patient Care.” Creating an environment where providers feel empowered to voice their concerns about patient safety without fear of retaliation is “probably one of the most important things we could do,” Hoolahan says.

Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Cynthia Teel, PhD, RN, FAAN, spoke to Kansas City Nursing News about a paper she co-authored that examines some of what she and her colleagues consider the most admirable aspects of receiving care at a rural setting. They include leading with consideration, living the mission, fostering individual growth, building a community and encouraging innovations.

Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN, spoke to Medical Xpress about a survey released by the John A. Hartford Foundation that finds most Americans age 65 and older are not receiving the recommended screenings and services they need for healthy aging, including an annual medication review, a falls risk assessment and history, depression screening, and more. Cortes is an Executive Nurse Fellows alumna and executive director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University's College of Nursing.

RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Eric M. Patashnik, PhD, MPP, co-authored a guest post for American Prospect on why “The Health Reform Battle Will Go On.”

Rashawn Ray, PhD, an RWJF Scholar in Health Policy Research, authored an op-ed for the New York Times Room for Debate blog about the barriers to physical activity among middle class African Americans.

William Burke, MD, a grantee of the RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI), spoke to the Omaha World-Herald about the increase in suicides in the United States in the past decade. Burke is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“More people are aging alone because they have the financial resources to do it,” Investigator Award recipient Eric Klinenberg, PhD, tells the Huffington Post. Klinenberg is the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, which finds an increase in the number of people living by themselves, including a third of older Americans. Read an RWJF Human Capital Blog Q&A with Klinenberg.

Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, wrote a piece for Newsweek Magazine about “Why the Campaign to Stop America's Obesity Crisis Keeps Failing.” A story in the Minnesota Post cited Taubes’ op-ed. Read more about Taubes’ research on sugar and nutrition.

A study by INQRI grantee Eileen Lake, PhD, RN, FAAN, and colleagues continues to receive media coverage. The study finds that some outcomes for very low-birth-weight infants are better at hospitals with Magnet recognition—those recognized for nursing excellence. Read more about the study from Health Canal and Healthcare Finance News. Read the study.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Executive Nurse Fellows, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Mental and Emotional Well-Being, Nursing, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research