Ask.com, yesterday released the findings from a 2007 Consumer Medical and
Health Information poll, commissioned by Ask.com and conducted by Harris
Interactive. The study demonstrates that adults now rely on the Internet as a
primary source of health-related information nearly as much as they rely on
their primary doctors. Seventy percent of adults are now turning to the Internet
as one of their primary resources for medical and health information, surpassed
only slightly by their personal physician (72 percent). Results also cited the
Internet as a far more popular resource for health information than traditional
media outlets such as newspapers/magazines (30 percent), television (26 percent)
and books (25 percent) -- even surpassing friends and family (40 percent) as a
source to find the medical information people seek.Additional findings from the
Harris survey include:
Knowledge is Power: It's all about being informed. 73
percent of adults expressed a desire to be more informed about their personal
health, as well as the well-being of friends and family. Even those born well
before the Internet generation (ages 55+) feel the medium has helped them
diagnose and better understand their condition (76 percent).
Friends are For: Two-thirds of Americans search to help them diagnose or better
understand a condition (71 percent), and more than half of adults reporting
doing the same for friends and family members (55 percent).
For Your Eyes
Only: Adults aged 18-34 are still embarrassed when it comes to sharing personal
health information, and 21 percent noted they turned to the Internet for
privacy, stating that they were just too embarrassed to talk to anyone about
their medical or health issues.
What's the Alternative: Nearly 30 percent of
adults (28 percent) reported leveraging the Internet to find alternative (e.g.,
homeopathic) treatment options.
This survey was conducted online within the
United States between July 5 and July 9, 2007 among 3,389 adults (aged 18 and
over). Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and
race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their
actual proportions in the population. The data was also weighted to be
representative of the online population of U.S. adults on the basis of Internet
usage (hours per week) and connection type.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Yahoo News! is reporting that educational videos currently gobbled up by parents in hopes of giving their children a educational head start may be failing. This is not the sort of study a parent wants to read about- especially if they have been in the practice of plopping their baby down in front of the television for some well- endorsed educational time. Every parent hopes to give their child the best developmental start. Some hope for a boost with these types of products.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Recordings that claim to stimulate baby brain development may actually slow vocabulary development in infants if they are overused, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.
For every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants aged 8 to 16 months understood an average of six to eight fewer words than babies who did not watch them, Frederick Zimmerman of theand colleagues found.
Older toddlers were not harmed or helped by the videos, the researchers reported in the Journal of Pediatrics.
"The most important fact to come from this study is there is no clear evidence of a benefit coming from baby DVDs and videos, and there is some suggestion of harm," Zimmerman said in a statement.
"The bottom line is the more a child watches baby DVDs and videos, the bigger the effect. The amount of viewing does matter."
Zimmerman and colleagues conducted random telephone interviews with more than 1,000 families inand Washington with babies and asked detailed questions about television and video viewing.
Parents of the 8- to 16-month-olds were asked how many words like "choo-choo," "mommy" and "nose" their child understood. Parents of the toddlers were asked how many words like "truck," "cookie" and "balloon" their children knew.
"The results surprised us, but they make sense. There are only a fixed number of hours that young babies are awake and alert," said Andrew Meltzoff, a psychologist who worked on the study.
"If the 'alert time' is spent in front of DVDs and TV, instead of with people speaking in 'parentese'-- that melodic speech we use with little ones -- the babies are not getting the same linguistic experience," Meltzoff added.
"Parents and caretakers are the baby's first and best teachers. They instinctively adjust their speech, eye gaze and social signals to support language acquisition. Watching attention-getting DVDs and TV may not be an even swap for warm social human interaction at this age. Old kids may be different, but the youngest babies seem to learn language best from people."
Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute who worked on the study, said parents frequently asked him about the value of such videos."The evidence is mounting that they are of no value and may in fact be harmful," Christakis said.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
"The 3-D Internet: Pohle said this technology is "about translating the user
experience on the Internet from being almost a replication of a piece of paper -
a Web 'page' - to almost a three-dimensional experience on the Internet."
Basically, a virtual world a la Second Life, with open borders."
"Mind-reading cell phones: In the next five years, cell phones may well have a
mind of their own - integrating location information with a database of your
surroundings. If you're on the road at dinnertime, your phone could let you know
where the nearest pizza place is, and what's on special...You could also point
your camera phone at a nearby landmark, snap a picture, and have the network
tell you everything it knows about what you're seeing.
Nanotechnology for energy and the environment: "Over 2 billion people live
without reliable water sources," Pohle said. "More people die from issues
related to the lack of water than from any other cause." As a spin-off of its
work with carbon nanotubes for electronics, IBM is looking into developing filters woven from nanotubes that could remove the salt and
impurities out of salt water, at a lower cost than current desalination
4. Telemedicine: I am inferring that telemedicine as an umbrella term will continue to be
more and more inclusive of mental health. Once MDs use internet as mainstream
practice, mental health should be barking at their heels, especially since
insurance companies have to cover both types of health care visits (Halsey). " "Because many people now have Internet or even broadband connections, you can
start using those communication platforms, free or very cheaply, to connect
your doctor's office," Pohle said. Imagine having a setup at home that
can beam your vital
signs directly to the doctor's office, or alert a health-care provider if
something goes wrong. Patient information could be contained on an
bracelet - in fact, such bracelets have been in use for years already. Meanwhile, care providers in
remote areas could use a "Doc in a Box" to transmit medical images and data to
specialists thousands of miles away for instant review."
The scenario may
sound like something from George Orwell's "1984" rather than IBM's 2010 - but
Pohle said technological shortcuts could actually create "a higher quality of
interaction between the doctor and the patient."
5. Real Time Speech Translation: This technology too will be able to pave the way for more accurate, timely and convenient mental health services via the internet (Halsey).
"This field is already a hot one, and over the next five years,
that translators will be popping up in mobile phones, handheld
automobiles. "These services will pervade every part of business
eliminating the language barrier in the global economy and
the company said."
For More Info Link to Cosmic Blog MSNBC
""The practical implication is that child maltreatment incidents are much more likely to occur during soldier deployments than during other times, and this really underlines the necessity of formal and informal support for parents who are going through this," said Deborah A. Gibbs, lead author of the study and a senior analyst with the Children and Families Program at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C. "Our findings really put a number on the extent of the problem and suggest the areas in which supports are most necessary.
Although there is not a long history of research in this field, previous studies have found that children of parents in the U.S. military serving in Iraq and elsewhere have higher blood pressure, heart rates and stress levels than other youngsters, and that children from military families are twice as likely to die from severe abuse as other children are.
Gibbs and her colleagues looked at confirmed incidents of child maltreatment by a parent in 1,771 families of enlisted U.S. Army soldiers who had been deployed to combat at least once between September 2001 and December 2004."
Sunday, July 29, 2007
" July 24, 2007, New York City – It is with deep sadness that the Albert Ellis Institute announces the death of Albert Ellis, Ph.D. on July 24, 2007. Dr. Ellis, who was 93 years old, died of natural causes. At the time of his death, he was President Emeritus of the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City.
Dr. Ellis was born in Pittsburgh in 1913, grew up in New York City, and received a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University.
As a practicing psychoanalyst from 1947 to 1953, Dr. Ellis grew increasingly doubtful about the efficacy of that form of psychotherapy, concerned that no amount of talk would help his clients if they failed to take action against their habitual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By late 1953, he had stopped calling himself a psychoanalyst and begun developing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), an action-oriented therapy aimed at making emotional and behavioral change through challenging self-defeating thoughts.
REBT is today widely acclaimed as a pioneering approach to psychotherapy and the foundation of all modern cognitive behavior therapies. In 2003, the American Psychological Association named Dr. Ellis the second most influential psychologist of the 20th century, second only to Carl Rogers. In 2005, Dr. Ellis’s 78th book, The Myth of Self Esteem, was published.
In 1960, Dr. Ellis established a nonprofit institute chartered by the New York State Board of Regents known today as the Albert Ellis Institute (AEI). Since its founding, AEI has provided educational programs and psychotherapy to hundreds of thousands of professionals, individuals and families.
“We all owe a great debt to Dr. Ellis,” said Robert O’Connell, Executive Director of AEI. “His students and clients will remember him for his tremendous insight and dedication as a psychotherapist. His innovations in the field will continue to influence the practice of psychotherapy for decades to come, and the institute he founded will continue to provide outstanding professional education programs and treatment based on the principles of REBT which he originated”.
During his career, Dr. Ellis served as President of the Division of Consulting Psychology of the American Psychological Association, as a member of the APA’s Council of Representatives, and as a Fellow and President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. He was a Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the American Sociological Association; the American Association of Applied Anthropology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Ellis was also a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology, a Diplomate in Clinical Hypnosis of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Psychotherapists, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology, as well as a sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (Rebt.org)."
AT ST. PAUL'S CHAPEL AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY."
Information provided courtesy of Albert Ellis Institute
Friday, July 27, 2007
Current antidepressants may take weeks or months to have an effect, leaving people suffering with depressive disorders frustrated and at risk for worsening symptoms, including suicide.
"In any other illness of depression's magnitude, patients aren't expected to just accept that their treatments won't start helping them for weeks or months. The value of our research on compounds like ketamine is that it tells us where to look for more precise targets for new kinds of medications that can close the gap," said NIMH Director Dr. Thomas R. Insel. "We're making tremendous progress (FORBES)."
Thanks to Azy Barak for pointing me over to this interesting tidbit!
Regina Lynn over at Wired discusses how her 2am restlessness led to seeking counseling online- when her need was the greatest.
"My distress peaked one night and I found myself frantically searching the web for some kind of drop-in crisis counseling chat. I wasn't suicidal, so I didn't want to call a suicide hotline and tie up a volunteer who could be helping someone on the verge of ultimate despair. Yet I felt I would implode if I didn't immediately talk to someone neutral and anonymous...The wee hours are when we are too tired to filter ourselves, when we are most vulnerable to dropping our shields and exposing our rawest truths -- which so often, and I dare you to prove otherwise, revolve around love and sex."
Regina Lynn goes on to share that writing is often more a natural way to communicate rather than talking...sometimes it is harder to stay engaged with your full self, rather than worrying about what, or how you are presenting to a therapist (my interpretation). As Ms. Lynn said, online therapy is like a "diary that writes back." And we all know that you certainly write things differently in a diary than in a regular conversation, even about the same subject.
Lynn states, "If connecting online feels natural and right to you, the internet is a natural place to seek therapy. You're already accustomed to peer support through online interaction; why wouldn't you reach for a professional in the same way?" Lynn contacted Susan Mankita, a social worker with ten years experience in the field who commented, "(Online counseling) teaches clients to be aware of what's coming out of their mouths, what they're feeling and thinking, their wholeness and whole bodies," Mankita said. "It's an exciting and empowering thing that we haven't done in the past (in person) the way we can with text. Text is really powerful."
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The people in the study received up to six sessions of protocol-driven telephone counseling based on principles of motivational interviewing and stages of readiness to change. Each telephone call was followed by a letter from the therapist that summarized the conversation.
The comparison group only received a pamphlet on healthy lifestyles.
After three months, patients in the counseling group were drinking less, the study found.Lead researcher Richard Brown, M.D., said that the study could empower time-strapped doctors to persuade reluctant alcoholism patients to seek treatment.
“The study shows that we shouldn’t just give up on those alcohol-dependent patients who cannot or choose not to get treatment. If we can identify these folks in primary care waiting rooms and provide telephone counseling … we can start to help many of these patients,” said Brown, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health."
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
"There are thousands of children that need loving families and a married couple said they can provide a great home to a child.But a Metro man said he is being discriminated against because he is overweight.Gary and Cynthia Stocklaufer said they were asked to adopt a relative's son and never expected the justice system to weigh in on Gary's size."I adore him, I love him, he's everything," Cynthia said about three-month old Max, the biological son of Gary's cousin.Gary said his relative asked him and his wife Cynthia to raise the boy because she couldn't. "We wanted to do it legally and we wanted to get some type of custody so we could get him on our insurance," Cynthia said.
What Cynthia and Gary thought was a easy adoption turned into what they're calling "a degrading ordeal.""They came right out and told us that Gary's weight was an issue," Cynthia said. Gary said he weighs around 500 pounds but it hasn't stopped him from working as a truck driver or playing with his 7-year-old son Bobby, who they also adopted. "I've been big all my life and my family is large and we've adopted once before the same judge and I am the same size that I was approximately six years ago when I adopted my other son," Gary said.Cheri Simpkins, the baby's court appointed guardian said weight was not the only concern in this case.
While Simpkins said she can't talk specifics, she went on to say "there was concern that Gary may develop diabetes or sleep apnea because of his size.""My weight has never kept me from doing anything I've wanted to do," Gary said."Size doesn't dictate the kind of parent that you are," Cynthia said. "We're good people."Gary said he's lost 35 pounds and he's trying to lose more. The couple said their attorney has filed a motion for a new hearing and said they'll do whatever it takes to get their son back."
Video Link here.
Story courtesy of the Los Angeles Times...
"A UCLA research associate tampered with data in a study of drug users and stole money intended for study subjects, a federal oversight office said Monday.According to a notice in the Federal Register, James David Lieber, staff research associate at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, "knowingly and intentionally falsified and fabricated" interviews, urine samples and urine sample records. The project, which received funding from the National Institutes of Health, was led by Christine Grella, a UCLA research psychologist. The study looked at what happened to female opiate addicts who had visited methadone clinics in Central and Southern California counties in the late 1970s."This is something we're quite unhappy about, obviously," Grella said of the notice.
Attempts to contact Lieber were unsuccessful.Grella said Lieber was falsifying the information over a six-month period in 2005.UCLA learned of the misconduct allegations in early 2006 and convened a panel to review his work, said Roberto Peccei, vice chancellor of research. Peccei said researchers removed the compromised data from the study and continued with their work. Lieber was discharged from the university."Ensuring the integrity of research conducted at UCLA is a duty of paramount importance, and this incident is a reminder that we must remain vigilant in fulfilling that obligation," Peccei said in a statement.
Lieber was assigned to interview 53 people in the study. He claimed to have met with them face-to-face, but the participants said that he had not interviewed them, according to the federal notice. According to the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Research Integrity, which investigated the incident, Lieber made up accounts of interviews and tampered with urine samples for 20 of the participants. He also stole $5,180 intended to cover stipends and travel expenses for subjects in the study, the notice said.The Office of Research Integrity has barred Lieber from participating in any federal government contracts or serving in any advisory capacity to the U.S. Public Health Service.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
A Field Manual
from New York State Office of Mental Health
Susan Wheeler-Roy, Ed.D.
Bernard A. Amyot, M.S., M.A.
This resource has lots of helpful tips for the beginner, and aid for the rusty professional
- Tell me about...
- What works for you...
- How do you react when...
- I’m wondering...
- Have your feelings changed?
- What are your most difficult times?
- Could you be more specific?
- Do you feel like talking about it today?
- I encourage you to...
Verbal Behaviors: Rituals provide us with acts to engage in for the purpose of meaning-making (Neimeyer). Dr. Kenneth Doka discusses ritual as giving extraordinary meaning to the commonplace. Ritual provides symbolic connection to the lost persons. For example, on Thanksgiving a woman makes her deceased mother’s recipe for cranberry relish. Only a few people in the family enjoy this dish but she continues to prepare it because during the preparation she feels connected to her mother and feels her mother is within her and thus, present at the holiday.
Dr. Kenneth Doka has identified four functions of ritual that may help in a variety of situations:
- Rituals of Continuity – This type of ritual implies that the person is still part of my life and there exists a continuing bond. The Thanksgiving ritual described above is an example of this.
- Rituals of Transition – This marks that a change has taken place in the grief response. For example, parents who have lost a child marked a transition in their mourning by cleaning out their deceased child’s room after a period of time acceptable to them.
- Rituals of Affirmation – This is a ritual act whereby one writes a letter or poem to the deceased thanking the person for the caring, love, help and support. This is especially useful for those who never said “thank you.”
- Rituals of Intensification – This type of ritual intensifies connection among group members and reinforces their common identity. For example, the AIDS Quilt, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Oklahoma City Memorial Park.
Rituals must fit the story. They must be planned ahead and thoroughly processed after completion.
Certain dates are particularly troubling and anxiety producing for the bereaved. These include birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, religious celebrations, Valentines Day, anniversary of the death and other specific family markers.
The goal is to plan ahead a remembrance ritual in order to acknowledge the day both cognitively and symbolically. Utilizing any of the above mentioned rituals will help acknowledge in some personal way the relationship and life that was shared. The day is best confronted and dealt with through ritual rather than avoided. Following is a list of rituals...
Want to read more...click here.
"In response to a federal court order, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an initiative of up to $90 million on Tuesday aimed at improving mental health services for thousands of children monitored by the county's child welfare system.
The plan follows criticism that the county has been slow to reform the way it provides mental health care to foster children living with families.
County mental health officials said the plan would allow them to better assess the mental health needs of all children who come into contact with children's social workers, not just those who were removed from their parents. It also calls for an expansion of intensive mental health services to kids at home, thereby helping them remain with their families.
The initiative stems from a 4-year-old legal settlement between the county and children's rights groups. The groups alleged in a 2002 class-action lawsuit that the county routinely failed to provide foster children with adequate mental health care.
Lawyers who brought the lawsuit welcomed the county's latest initiative, which was approved unanimously by the board, but said it did not adequately address how to treat thousands more children who were severely traumatized by abuse, neglect and abandonment.
"It is progress, and we encourage that, but I wouldn't say that it meets their entire obligation. There's a substantial way to go," said Kimberly Lewis, an attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty, one of the groups that sued the county."
Monday, July 16, 2007
I finally happened into this frozen yogurt shoppe (more like hip nightlub with too many lights- vibe) with a long line after shopping at my dearly loved Trader Joe's. I was confused/puzzled/relieved at the only two choices of yogurt- plain and green tea. I saw a customer's order go by me (plain topped with fruit) sporting a computerized label on it with their name on it as well as the price : $9. Huh? What is now called "Crackberry" seems to be popping up all over Los Angeles and apparently NYC. (I think "Crackberry" also refers to Blackberries- the phone things). I looked it up on the net when we got home and found enormous amount of type devoted to this frozen desert. One person implied that since Pinkberry won't allow photos, nor will they share ingredients, there must be something addictive added.
I thought it tasted much like plain yogurt with the icy- soft serve consistency (I like that) but I didn't really get it. I admit, I was a bit snide about the craze that surrounds this place. However I was sitting here at 8:45pm on a Monday night, thinking about this "yogurt" (or whatever it is) as I have all day, wanting a little more. My husband was sweet enough to go and get it for me. But, he just called and said there were 32 people in line ahead of him. Are you kidding me?
"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The leader of the largest U.S. Roman Catholic archdiocese apologized on Sunday for what he called a "terrible sin and crime" as the church confirmed it would pay a record $660 million to people who were sexually abused by priests."
..."The abuse scandal prompted a decline in donations at churches across the United States. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledged in 2004 that this was its worst scandal and vowed to "heal the hurt that has happened (Reuters Factbox) ."
I am relieved to see the acceptance of wrongdoing...but what is the systemic cause, and what is being done about it?
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Congrats Dr. Grohol!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
From AOII's To Dragma...Top TEN ACRONYMS TO KNOW:
1. POS: Parent Over Shoulder
2. LMIRL: Let's Meet in Real Life
3. NAZ: Name, Address, Zip Code?
4. WYRN: What is Your Real Name?
5. ASL: Age, Sex, Location
6. F2F: Face to Face
7. S2R: Send to Receive (Pictures)
8. PIR: Parent in Room
9. P911: Parent Emergency
10. PRW: Parents are Watching
I am sure there are plenty of variations as well (WIR: Wife in Room etc.)...
You can see more at www.noslang.com
Friday, July 13, 2007
Science Daily reports, "I think it's time we made screening for behavioral health problems as routine as it is for cancer and other major illnesses," says Horgan. "Detection is where treatment really starts."
The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Read more about this at The Register.
Here is California's Link: