Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Violent Media Can Desensitize the Minds of Young Males

 

Study found repeated exposure dampened their reaction to seeing aggression

Excerpts from a Health Day news item

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) — The more adolescent boys absorb violence in media such as movies, television shows and video games, the less sensitive certain areas of their brains become to these images, researchers report.

And those areas of the brain are the ones involved in controlling aggression, notes a study published Oct. 19 in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

It’s possible that these boys might become more aggressive later in life (although the study didn’t actually track this), but a larger societal desensitization may be taking place that might be even more troublesome, the researchers said.

“There are always going to be people who are violent no matter what they’re exposed to,” said study senior author Jordan Grafman. “What’s even more dangerous is when society accepts such behaviors. . . If something becomes acceptable, then those who are creating the violence and aggressive behavior are allowed to get away with it more because society is not going to police it as much.”

Prior studies have indicated that violent media can make people more violent, but this is one of the first studies into how that mechanism plays out in the brain.

Full article in the October 19th issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
Article is available only by paid subscription. The article may be available at or through a local public, academic, or medical library. A library fee may be charged. Ask a reference librarian for details on how to obtain this and other medical/science journal articles.

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Web Site for Hospital Comparisons Is Faulty: Study & Additional Resources

From a Health Day news item

By Robert Preidt
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) — Although designed to highlight high-quality hospitals, the U.S. Medicare Hospital Compare Web site doesn’t help patients select the best facility in which to have high-risk surgery, a new study contends.

Hospitals submit data quarterly from the Surgical Care Improvement Project on efforts to prevent blood clots and infection, in order to receive annual Medicare payment updates. This reporting — available to the public at http:www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov — is supposed to help patients choose superior care and encourage hospitals to improve their performance…..

…..There may be several reasons for these findings, the study authors said.

“The Surgical Care Improvement Project measures are low-leverage because they relate to secondary and relatively less important outcomes,” the researchers at the University of Michigan and Michigan Surgical Collaborative for Outcomes Research and Evaluation wrote in a university news release.

“Even when processes are tied to an important outcome such as pulmonary embolism [a blood clot that has traveled to the lungs], these events are rare and offer insufficient variation to differentiate between high- and low-quality hospitals,” they said.

“Despite the intentions of the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to provide patients with information that will facilitate patient choice of high-quality hospitals, currently available information on the Hospital Compare Web site will not help patients identify hospitals with better outcomes for high-risk surgery,” the study authors concluded.

“The CMS needs to identify higher leverage process measures and devote greater attention to profiling hospitals based on outcomes for improved public reporting and pay-for-performance programs. Future research should ascertain whether process measures become more useful as indicators of surgical quality as public reporting programs mature.”

The study appears in the October issue of the journal Archives of Surgery

 

  • Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey  compares” hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care”
  • The CAHPS Hospital Survey  -Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, programs and information.
  • Hospital Compare – A quality tool provided by Medicare
  • HealthGrades –   A healthcare ratings organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans …
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October 21, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Health News Items | Leave a comment

   

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