Jennifer Mhyre is a medical researcher with a PhD in neuropharmacology. She has read more than her fair share of medical and scientific books throughout her career. But when daughter Katelyn was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease almost four years ago, Mhyre and her husband (who also has a PhD in neuropharmacology) reached for the textbook.
“I knew what mitochondria were, but had never heard the term ‘mitochondrial disease,’” said Mhyre. “I went to my graduate school general pharmacology class book and looked it up.” Mhyre also went online and did more reading. She found that mitochondrial disease was only recently recognized as a disease class, and was just as common as childhood cancer. Read full post »
August 20, 2012 | Patient Stories, ResearchComments Off on Parents of Kids with Chronic Pain Benefit from Psychological Therapies, Too
Parenting a child with a longstanding or life-threatening illness—including chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, asthma and traumatic brain injury—can have a negative impact on many aspects of a parent’s and family’s life. Parents often have difficulty balancing care for their child with other responsibilities such as work, social life, finance and household tasks.
But there are very few programs in the world that address these issues for parents of children with chronic pain, based on a new Cochrane Review published August 15.
The latest research also adds evidence that the relationship between media and sleep in preschool children is one of cause and effect. Kids whose parents were encouraged to change the channel to age-appropriate and non-violent content had significantly lower odds of sleep problems in the study, and this effect persisted across the intervention year, but faded six months after the program ended. Read full post »
University of Minnesota researchers interviewed the parents of 60 youth basketball players and found that the young athletes commonly had sweets, such as candy, ice cream and doughnuts; pizza; hot dogs; salty snacks, including chips, nachos and cheese puff and soda and sports drinks.
The parents also reported frequent visits to fast-food restaurants when their children were playing sports.
And, even though the parents agreed that these foods and beverages are unhealthy, they said rushing to practices and games made them rely more on these types of products due to their convenience. Read full post »
As a medical resident, Dr. Ben Wilfond remembers working with a family whose baby had trisomy 21 (down syndrome). He was with the physician when she first talked with the family about their new baby. “She walked in, introduced herself, and the next thing she said was, ‘Congratulations on your baby,'” Wilfond said. The remark took him by surprise. “As a resident, I could see the problems this child was having and I knew some of what was ahead for this family. But the doctor did not deprive them of their celebration, and she chose not to focus on the fact that the child had a disability.”
This situation isn’t always the norm. Dr. Wilfond is a co-author of a new study published in Pediatrics that found parents with children with trisomy 13 and 18 have challenging encounters with health providers. Children born with trisomy 13 and 18 have low survival rates and survivors have significant disabilities. They have traditionally been treated with palliative care. Read full post »
Physicians and researchers can get any number of awards over the course of a career. Landing a Nobel Prize is the tops, of course. But Bonnie Ramsey, MD, received a different sort of honor this week. She christened a petroleum barge in Portland that bears her name. Dr. Ramsey is quite excited about the honor, even if it doesn’t seem very medically mainstream.
“It’s a unique award,” she said. “It’s not the sort of thing most people get, to have something that huge be named after you,” she said, with a smile. Barges can measure more than 400 feet long, bigger than a football field. A barge of this size carries more than 3.5 million gallons in fuel, too.
July 11, 2012 | ResearchComments Off on Researcher Heads to Africa to Curb Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Bright blue skies, lush green fields, jungle and red earth were among the sites Kathleen Bongiovanni saw on her recent trip to Uganda. She visited this country in East Africa as part of a month-long research trip. Bongiovanni, a program manager in the Center for Developmental Therapeutics at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, went to determine whether or not a foam stability test would be acceptable to clinicians, birth attendants and mothers in Uganda, particularly in rural areas. The test—a simple process conducted with fluid suctioned from a newborn’s mouth—would be a new way for doctors and other trained healthcare workers to easily and inexpensively diagnose lung immaturity in premature infants.
Study: Doctors’ Language Tests Spotlight Need to Provide Interpreters in Medical Settings
The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Reports, in 2006, 13.7% of U.S. children under age 5 lived in a home where a parent or guardian spoke English less than “very well”. In medical settings, where effective communication between provider and patient is essential to quality care, language barriers have a negative impact. Research has shown that language barriers affect patient satisfaction and compliance, cost, medical errors, and risk of litigation.
While many doctors in the U.S. have some ability to communicate in a foreign language, there are no standards that determine what degree of proficiency is required to communicate effectively with patients. Often, doctors are left to determine themselves whether they’re up to the task of discussing complex medical information in a foreign language. They may not be the best judges of their own abilities. Read full post »
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