Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Study Shows Sports Can Help Communities Recover From Disaster

From a 7 July 2011 Medical News Today article

Research from North Carolina State University shows that organized sports can be a powerful tool for helping to rebuild communities in the wake of disasters. The research focused specifically on the role of professional football in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“Sports, and by extension sports media, can be a powerful force for good. It can bring people together. It can provide hope, even in the midst of great destruction,” says Dr. Ken Zagacki, co-author of a paper describing the research and a professor of communication at NC State. “But we have to be careful that we don’t use sports to gloss over real problems. We don’t want to ‘move on’ from tragedies like Katrina when real social problems remain.” …….

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , | Leave a comment

Social media serves as a powerful tool for patients disclosing illnesses

From the 6 July blog posting at Health IT Exchange

No matter the trend, social media has a role in some capacity. That’s the case for health IT as patients are increasingly disclosing medical diagnoses online for consolation purposes, according to a study released in late June by marketing and consulting firm Russell Herder.

The study was conducted over a 90-day period in which 62,893 online self-disclosures of illnesses were monitored. To obtain these self-disclosures, researchers tracked particular phrases such as “I tested positive for,” “I’ve been diagnosed with” and “Doctor said I’ve got.”

Patients tended to disclose certain conditions:

Cancer: 40%
Diabetes: 16%
Chronic Fatigue: 10%
Arthritis: 7%
ADHD: 7%
Asthma: 5%
AIDS: 5%
STD: 5%
Epilepsy: 2%
Heart Disease: 2%
Alzheimer’s: 1%…
…From a patient perspective, getting support via social media could be convenient since it can be done without leaving home. And that’s why the results of the social media study do not surprise Dr. Robert Murry, medical director of informatics at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, N.J.

There is closure to be found in connecting with others during a difficult time, Murry said. “Patients, particularly with rare chronic diseases frequently find value in social media dedicated to their disease.” Although he does not actively participate in these practices, he said he knew that social media would find its way into the health care landscape.

Even with its benefits, the arrival of social media raises awareness on issues such as provider boundaries, provider and patient relationships and the importance of social media policies.

What constitutes a medical visit? For example, if a provider views a patient’s disclosure of a chronic illness and responds in a chat forum, does that qualify as an appointment? Keely Kolmes, a psychotherapist in San Francisco, noted in her private practice social media policy that “casual viewing of clients’ online content outside of the therapy hour can create confusion in regard to whether it’s being done as a part of your treatment or to satisfy my personal curiosity.”

Malpractice concerns. This is a focal point since it deals with the delicate provider-to-patient relationship. Social media is widely used in provider-to-provider networking, but networking in the context of provider-to-patient is risky business because the conversation is often casual. Information can be easily misconstrued. If a patient is harmed based on advice from a provider — not to mention in an informal setting — it could be a malpractice nightmare. Also consider that if a provider gave advice based on a past patient’s medical record, it would violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

Social media policies. Adopting or creating a clear social media policy and making it accessible is important. Kolmes’ policy distinguishes which mediums she participates in, how she participates and also addresses privacy concerns. She does not accept friend or contact requests in any social media platforms, citing “that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy.”…

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pharma on Facebook / Google+ in Medicine and Pharma?

From the 8th July Pharmaphorum blog posting by Wendy Blackburn

There’s been much discussion around the pharmaceutical industry’s use of social media, especially Facebook. Is it worth the risk for pharma to engage in this uncontrolled space? Will consumers really “like” a medication in a place where they’re more likely to play Farmville? And what options does pharma have considering Facebook’s recently-announced policy changes?…

[The post goes on to say there are at least 150 pharmaceutical related Facebook pages , including those by corporations, brands (those dedicated to a single presription drug), unbranded pages (usually centered around a condition as diabetes), and those including games and/or applications.]

[The article goes on to discuss the legalities and Facebook policies concerning comments at pharma Facebook pages.]

[Some excerpts]

Facebook changes the game for pharma

“Starting today, Facebook will no longer allow admins of new pharma pages to disable commenting on the content their page shares with people on Facebook,” Facebook told pharmas in a May 17 email posted by Intouch Solutions on its blog. “Pages that currently have commenting disabled will no longer have this entitlement after August 15th. Subject to Facebook’s approval, branded pages solely dedicated to a prescription drug may (continue to) have commenting functionality removed.”

– Medical Marketing & Media Magazine….

For companies that decide they still want to be on Facebook, there are a number of options:

1. 24/7 monitoring and moderation or a “community management” model

2. Moderation applications that place a temporary “hold” on comments prior to publication

3. Branded Facebook pages, where Facebook will still allow comment disabling

4. Personal representation or company “spokesperson”

5. Advertising

6. Word filters


Google+ in Medicine and Pharma? 

From the 14 July 2011 Science Roll item
There have been some articles and blog entries lately focusing on whether Google+ could be used in medicine or pharma. I’ve been trying to use it more actively in the past couple of days and it’s still a question for me to figure out whether I should separate my professional Facebook and Google+ activities. A few comments from fellow bloggers:

Could Google+ be Pharma’s Answer to Social Media Marketing?

“Google launched a beta version of its own social network just a couple of days ago, Google+.  While many news reports over the past day or so  suggest that Google+ offers some great features, most also suggest that the network is probably no reason for people to abandon their FaceBook page as an alternative.

However, could Google+ offer a FaceBook alternative for pharma companies?  “…..

[Click here for the rest of the Science Roll article]

Google+ is a social media site (currently in beta & for invited users only) similar to Facebook.

An introductory video, review….

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Knowledge Path [Resource Guide]: Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Challenges in Children and Adolescents.

Maternal and Child Health Library - A virtual guide to MCH information

The MCH Library at Georgetown University presents a new knowledge path, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Challenges in Children and Adolescents.  The knowledge path points to a selection of resources that analyze data, describe effective programs, and report on policy and research aimed at improving access to and quality of care for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and mental heath challenges.

View the path online at http://www.mchlibrary.info/KnowledgePaths/kp_Mental_Conditions.html.

A new set of companion resource briefs are available, as follows:

For Families http://www.mchlibrary.info/families/frb_Mental_Conditions.html

For Schools http://www.mchlibrary.info/schools/srb_Mental_Conditions.html

Bullying http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/bullying.html

Child Maltreatment http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/maltreatment.html

Medications http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/medications.html

Screening http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/screening.html

Substance Use http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/substanceuse.html

Suicide Prevention http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/suicide.html

MCH Library at Georgetown University

Web site: http://mchlibrary.info

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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