Pandemic Flu Planning Guide Available for Nursing Homes
A complimentary planning tool is now available to help the nation’s nursing homes prepare for an influenza pandemic. “Planning Today for a Pandemic Tomorrow: A Toolkit for Nursing Facilities,” provided by the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), with grant funding from Hoffman-LaRoche, provides nursing homes with a detailed assessment and planning tool, complete with checklists, sample policies, sample forms, and helpful web links. The guide allows facilities to:
- Review existing policies and procedures.
- Identify gaps.
- Develop new policies and procedures.
- Generate a pandemic influenza plan that will facilitate a more effective response during a crisis.
Detailed modules address topics such as clinical considerations, operational issues, communications, legal issues, psychosocial concerns, and ethical considerations. The resource is modeled after NJHA’s original pandemic flu planning document created for acute care hospitals.
NJHA is providing complimentary copies of the toolkit on CD to all New Jersey nursing homes, as well as state long-term care associations across the country. Other nursing homes can download a complimentary copy of the guide at http://www.njha.com/publications/index.aspx.
Source.“NJHA Unveils Pandemic Flu Planning Guide for Nursing Homes.” (2011, January 3). Retrieved January 24, 2011, from http://www.njha.com/press/PressRelease.aspx?id=8731.
Antipsychotic Agent Use for Dementia Dropped Before Warning
Research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry shows that use of second-generation antipsychotic agents to treat dementia-related aggression, agitation, and delusions began to decline significantly in 2003, years ahead of the black box warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005, indicating that emerging understanding of the medications’ increased risk of diabetes and stroke was taken seriously. Prescriptions of the second-generation medications dropped off more steeply after the black box warning as well.
The analysis drew from data on more than 250,000 patients from national U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) registries maintained in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
While the number of dementia cases among VA patients 65 and older more than tripled from 30,000 in 1999 to 100,000 in 2007 as World War II and Korean War veterans aged, the study found the use of second-generation antipsychotic medications declined. Prescriptions decreased from approximately 18% to 12% of patients. The study adjusted for demographic shifts.
The study authors did not pinpoint a single reason for the decline during the period before the warning but observed that physicians and media outlets were starting to take note of fatal risks associated with the class of medications, which includes olanzapine (Zyprexa®), risperidone (Risperdal®), and quetiapine (Seroquel®).
Source.“Early Warnings Lowered Use of Antipsychotic Medications for Dementia.” (2011, February 3). Retrieved March 2, 2011, from http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/573040/?sc=c111.
Post-Op Behavioral Therapy Can Ease Incontinence in Men
Behavioral therapies such as pelvic-floor-muscle training, bladder-control strategies, and maintaining a bladder diary can reduce incontinence episodes by more than 50% in men following prostate cancer surgery, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings indicate that these therapies can improve bladder control and enhance quality of life.
Researchers followed 208 men ages 51 to 84 with persistent incontinence. Most participants were 5 years post-surgery (range = 1 to 17 years). One group of men received 8 weeks of behavioral therapy administered during four visits. This group saw a 55% decrease in incontinence episodes, down from an average 28 episodes per week to 13. A second group, who received the behavioral therapy and additional treatment via biofeedback and electrical stimulation of the pelvic muscles, had a 51% decrease.
The study also found that biofeedback and pelvic floor electrical stimulation, which have been used to treat incontinence since the 1980s, were also effective when combined with behavioral techniques but did not lead to better results than the behavioral therapy alone.
Despite surgical options available for the treatment of male incontinence, they are invasive, expensive, and not without risk; thus, behavioral therapy could be a good first treatment for men following prostate cancer surgery.
Source.“Behavioral Therapies Ease Incontinence for Men After Prostate Cancer Surgery.” (2011, January 6). Retrieved January 24, 2011, from http://main.uab.edu/Sites/MediaRelations/articles/82996/.
Older Adults Scared of Side Effects May Skip Heart Medications
The risk of developing side effects such as fatigue, nausea, and fuzzy thinking causes many older patients to forego medications that provide only average benefit in preventing heart attack, according to a report published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Clinical practice guidelines recommend medications for primary prevention based on the patient’s risk for developing an illness and the likelihood that the medication will reduce this risk; however, the research team suspected that this might not be consistent with how older adults think about the benefits and harms of medications.
To find out, the team evaluated older adults’ willingness to take a medication for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease based on its benefits and harms. They conducted in-person interviews with 356 people 65 and older living in the community.
The participants were asked about their willingness to take medication for primary prevention of heart attack. Most participants (88%) said they would take the medication if it had no adverse effects and offered about the average risk reduction of currently available medications. In contrast, large proportions (48% to 69%) were unwilling or uncertain about taking such medication if it caused mild fatigue, nausea, or fuzzy thinking, and only 3% would take a medication with adverse effects severe enough to affect daily functioning.
Source.“Fear of Side Effects Shapes Older Patients’ Willingness to Take Heart Medication.” (2011, February 28). Retrieved March 2, 2011, from http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=8303.
Video Animation Program Makes Mobility Assessment Easy
Mobility, closely linked to overall health and quality of life, is one step closer to being a “vital sign” that can be regularly checked by health care professionals, thanks to Wake Forest University health and exercises professors Tony Marsh and Jack Rejeski, who developed the Mobility Assessment Tool (MAT) with the help of colleagues in the computer science department and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Wake Forest University Health and Exercise Science Professors Tony Marsh (left) and Jack Rejeski (center) Teach Research Participant Reggie Moore How to Use the Mobility Assessment Tool.
The MAT is a unique way to assess mobility in older adults using video animation rather than written questions. Created for the iPad® and the PC, the MAT takes approximately 4 minutes to complete. The score provides information that helps older adults better understand their current mobility and can provide a gauge to monitor changes in how well they get around.
Using an iPad or PC, older adults watch short videos of animated figures performing everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or walking while carrying a bag of groceries. The videos help older adults picture themselves doing these tasks. They then use the touch screen to indicate what they can and cannot do.
Marsh and Rejeski say the MAT is a quick, simple, and cost-effective way to accurately measure mobility and may help practitioners plan appropriate interventions to remediate limitations. They envision older adults getting “activity prescriptions” to improve their physical function on the basis of results of the MAT.
Marsh and Rejeski have recently published two studies supporting the tool’s effectiveness in measuring mobility and have presented their findings at a recent Gerontological Society of America conference. The MAT will be used by researchers involved in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders study, a major multiyear project funded by the National Institutes of Health designed to determine the effects of physical activity and successful aging interventions on major mobility disability.
Source.“iPad Animation Helps Assess Mobility in Elderly.” (2011, January 19). Retrieved January 25, 2011, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/214233.php.
3,000+ Miles Doesn’t Intimidate 72-Year-Old
Miles: 3,100. Days: 57. Wheels: 2. Age: 72. That’s the plan for Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society member Katherine Jeter, EdD, who, at press time, is in the middle of a cross-country bicycle trek to raise awareness and funds for the organization. A breast cancer survivor who only started cycling 3 years ago, Jeter is working with the WOCN Society Foundation to raise $200,000 for WOC nursing scholarships through a WomanTours excursion that started March 4 in San Diego and will conclude on April 29 in St. Augustine, Florida. At points along the way, Jeter will greet professional colleagues and meet with media to promote the Cycling for Scholarships campaign.
The impetus for Jeter’s campaign began 47 years ago when her infant son had a urinary ostomy at age 3; at the time, little was known about how to care for such patients. Although not a nurse, in 1968 she was among the seminal group that launched what is now the WOCN Society. During her 30-year career, she savored every minute of patient care, stimulated and participated in research, and published widely. In 1982, Jeter founded the National Association for Continence to educate the public and health professionals about the causes, treatments, and management options for people with loss of bladder and bowel control. In 1985, she was the originator of gauze-based negative pressure wound therapy in the United States.
To follow Jeter as she cycles through the states or to contribute to her cause, visit the campaign’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WOCNCycling.
Source.Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. (n.d.). Cycling for Scholarships. Retrieved from http://wocnfoundation.org/cyclingforscholarships.
Search for Home Health Care Free in NYC
Designed to simplify the process of selecting home health care in New York City, HomeHealthNYC has created a free online portal ( http://www.homehealthnyc.com) that gives New York City residents customized recommendations of local home health care providers tailored to their specific needs. In-home care options range from assistance with activities of daily living to skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
First, visitors complete a simple questionnaire. Then, experienced Home Care Representatives use this information to make customized recommendations tailored to that particular individual, while also providing valuable home care information. The service is free for both users and the companies recommended, allowing unbiased recommendations. There is also no obligation to use any of the services recommended.
Source.“New Free Home Healthcare Portal Website Makes Finding Home Healthcare in New York City Easy.” (2010, November 17). Retrieved January 24, 2011, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-free-home-healthcare-portal-website-makes-finding-home-healthcare-in-new-york-city-easy-108682514.html.