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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Hospital readmission rates misleading

Hospital readmission rates misleading

From the Healthcare Informatics blog item

Readmission rates, for instance, do not take into account the complexity of correcting problems involving the spine, which often call for two or more staged surgeries spaced out over several weeks, says Mummaneni. Publicly reported readmission rates do not always take into account scheduled follow-up surgeries and unplanned hospital readmissions, causing the calculated rates to be over-estimated. Additionally, he said, this problem may present surgeons with a tough choice between scheduling multiple surgeries, which may be better for the patients, and scheduling single surgeries, which would improve readmission rate calculations.

A US Navy general surgeon and an operating roo...

A US Navy general surgeon and an operating room nurse discuss proper procedures while performing a laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


April 24, 2012 Posted by | health AND statistics, health care | , , , | Leave a comment

The Risks We Dread: A Social Circle Account « Full Text Reports…

The Risks We Dread: A Social Circle Account 

From the summary at Full Text Reports

What makes some risks dreadful? We propose that people are particularly sensitive to threats that could kill the number of people that is similar to the size of a typical human social circle. Although there is some variability in reported sizes of social circles, active contact rarely seems to be maintained with more than about 100 people. The loss of this immediate social group may have had survival consequences in the past and still causes great distress to people today. Therefore we hypothesize that risks that threaten a much larger number of people (e.g., 1000) will not be dreaded more than those that threaten to kill “only” the number of people typical for social circles. We found support for this hypothesis in 9 experiments using different risk scenarios, measurements of fear, and samples from different countries. Fear of risks killing 100 people was higher than fear of risks killing 10 people, but there was no difference in fear of risks killing 100 or 1000 people (Experiments 1–4, 7–9). Also in support of the hypothesis, the median number of deaths that would cause maximum level of fear was 100 (Experiments 5 and 6). These results are not a consequence of lack of differentiation between the numbers 100 and 1000 (Experiments 7 and 8), and are different from the phenomenon of “psychophysical numbing” that occurs in the context of altruistic behavior towards members of other communities rather than in the context of threat to one’s own community (Experiment 9). We discuss several possible explanations of these findings. Our results stress the importance of considering social environments when studying people’s understanding of and reactions to risks.


April 24, 2012 Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avoiding entangling commitments: Tactics for implementing a short-term mating strategy « Full Text Reports…

Avoiding entangling commitments: Tactics for implementing a short-term mating strategy 

Summary from Full Text Reports

The successful pursuit of a short-term mating strategy requires avoiding entangling commitments or unwanted, encumbering relationships. Two studies, based on an act-nomination and reported act perfor- mance methodologies, were conducted on samples of American college students to explore how individ- uals avoid entangling commitments. In Study 1 (N = 102) we identified the acts individuals use to avoid entangling commitments in the context of short-term mating. In Study 2 (N = 298) we examined reported usage of these tactics, and identified correlations with personality traits previously implicated in the pur- suit of a short-term mating strategy (e.g., narcissism, mate-value). Personality traits such as the Dark Triad and sociosexuality, as well as mate-value, were positively correlated with tactics used to avoid entangling commitments. Results document how short-term mating strategists solve the problem of avoiding entangling commitments, reveal sex differences previously undiscovered, and highlight personality characteristics linked to solving this adaptive problem. (2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.)

April 24, 2012 Posted by | Psychology | , , , | Leave a comment


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