Duke Medical Center Library & Archives

Health Care Reform News and Views
Posted On: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 12:29 by Beverly Murphy

The Washington Post has created a special section on the health care reform bill and associated news. View the full suite of stories and features online at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/health-care-reform/.

The Great Prostate Mistake
Posted On: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 08:14 by Beverly Murphy

The inventor of the PSA test for prostate cancer screening Prof Richard Ablin, in a very recent op-ed in the NY Times, today regrets his invention and rues how it has led to a multi-billion dollar profit driven public health disaster in the USA . He writes - I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster. The medical community must confront reality and stop the inappropriate use of P.S.A. screening. Doing so would save billions of dollars and rescue millions of men from unnecessary, debilitating treatments.

You can read the entire editorial at the following Web-link:

The Wireless Future of Medicine
Posted On: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 09:43 by Beverly Murphy

Eric Topol: The Wireless Future of Medicine (17 min video)

Check out this TED talk on using mobile devices in health care. See some of the technology that can "take individualized medicine to a new height."

Eric Topol says we'll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine's future -- all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.

Tags: smartphone, mobile apps

CDC Releases County-Level Atlas of Heart Disease Hospitalizations
Posted On: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 11:53 by Beverly Murphy

The CDC recently released the 2010 Atlas of Heart Disease Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries, its first atlas showing hospitalization rates for heart disease at the county level. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. These new maps chart wide disparities based on race/ethnicity and geographic location.

2010 Atlas of Heart Disease Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries:

Interactive Heart Disease & Stroke Maps:

Tags: statistics, research

Online Encyclopedias Available
Posted On: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 13:06 by Beverly Murphy

Starting a research project or paper and need some help identifying or learning more about a topic? Many health-related encyclopedias are available online, including:

Visit the Sage Reference Online Health and Social Welfare collection to... MORE

CDC Releases 2009 U.S. Health Stats
Posted On: Monday, February 22, 2010 - 13:13 by Beverly Murphy

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics has released its annual report, titled Health, United States, 2009. This year's edition contains a special focus on medical technology. The report is available for free online:

  1. The complete report (PDF; 574 pages)
  2. "In Brief" edition (PDF; 15 pages)
  3. The CDC's Health United States Website also contains special topics and downloadable presentations and charts.

A couple of findings from the data:

  • The gap in life expectancy at birth between white persons and black persons persists but has narrowed since 1990.
  • ...

Want to schedule a meeting the fast and easy way?
Posted On: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 12:59 by Beverly Murphy

Doodle takes the pain out of finding the right date and time for a group of people to meet and makes scheduling virtually effortless. The basic service is a free online coordination tool which requires neither registration nor software installation.

Doodle lets you create a poll with available dates and times for your meeting, allowing for different time zones. Doodle will then send you a web link to the schedule which you in turn email to your participants. They use the link to check their availability. The end result is an easy to view list of participants with their availability for the times listed in the poll.

Draft of new DSM-5 available for comment
Posted On: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 12:10 by Beverly Murphy

The definition, diagnosis and recommended treatment for some medical disorders are in the process of revision. After 16 years, the American Psychiatric Association wants to update the bible of psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders universally known as the DSM.

The new draft of DSM-V includes important changes to bipolar disorder, binged eating, autism and substance abuse, changes that affect not only mental health professionals and their patients but the insurance companies that also use the DSM as a guide.

Over the years, the DSM has generated controversy and criticism for what it defines as a medical disorder and what it doesn't.

Related news stories:
... MORE

Lancet retracts article linking vaccines and autism
Posted On: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 11:27 by Beverly Murphy

The journal Lancet has retracted the 1998 article linking mercury in vaccines.

The text from the editors is short:
Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were "consecutively referred" and that... MORE

New AHRQ Study Finds Failure to Order Needed Tests a Leading Cause of Diagnostic Errors
Posted On: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 10:17 by Beverly Murphy

AHRQ researchers found that failure to order tests, report results to patients, or follow up with abnormal test findings are leading types of diagnostic errors. Results were based on a survey issued to nearly 300 primary care and specialist physicians who reported 583 cases of diagnosis error, the largest-ever study of diagnostic errors in medicine. Researchers also found that tests were overlooked because clinicians often failed to consider the diagnosis, leading to delays in ordering the tests or making the correct diagnosis. The most common missed or delayed diagnoses include pulmonary embolism, drug reactions or overdose, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, acute coronary syndrome, including heart attack, breast cancer and stroke.

The study, led by Gordon Schiff, M.D.,... MORE

New PubMed: Exporting Citations into EndNote
Posted On: Friday, January 15, 2010 - 17:00 by Beverly Murphy

When saving citations in PubMed for importing into EndNote there are two ways to do so:

  1. Use the Display Results link and limit your download (using File Save As from your browser) to 200 citations.
  2. Use the Send To link > Click Send To > Select File > Click Format dropdown and change to MEDLINE > Click Create File Button and you will be allowed to save more than 200 citations in the MEDLINE format used by EndNote.

Note: The EndNote PubMed filter was changed in November 2009! You need to update your EndNote filter!


Tags: pubmed, endnote, citation management

JAMA focuses on fallout over Breast Cancer Screen Recommendations
Posted On: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 08:48 by Beverly Murphy

Several commentaries in this week's JAMA (january 13, 2010) focus on the controversial 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on breast cancer screening. In one, a former member of the task force reminds readers that the organization does not represent the government. He faults the recommendation's "poor wording" as one cause of the controversy and observes that it was "unwise" for the task force not to plan for the inevitable political fallout. In another brief essay, two experts in health outcomes research examine the real harms of overdiagnosis and decry the politicization of healthcare. "Promoting screening irrespective of the evidence may garner votes," they write, "but will not create healthier voters." There are... MORE

Asthma Return-on-Investment Calculator
Posted On: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 09:56 by Beverly Murphy

Free tool helps calculate return on investment from better asthma care

Employers are seeking solutions that can help reduce their health care costs without sacrificing the health care services provided to their employees or harming worker productivity. A new online, evidence-based tool, the Asthma Return-on-Investment Calculator developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), can help employers decide whether it is cost-effective to establish an asthma care management program for employees and their families. According to AHRQ's 2008 National Healthcare Quality Report, the annual cost of treating asthma is nearly $20 billion, which includes nearly $15 billion in direct medical costs and another $5 billion in costs due... MORE

Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity
A Patient-Level Meta-analysis

Jay C. Fournier, MA; Robert J. DeRubeis, PhD; Steven D. Hollon, PhD; Sona Dimidjian, PhD; Jay D. Amsterdam, MD; Richard C. Shelton, MD; Jan Fawcett, MD
JAMA. 2010;303(1):47-53.

This meta-analysis looks at six large trials, three of Paxil and three of imipramine, and shows that the effectiveness of the drugs varies according to the level of severity of depression. While the drugs are effective for severe depression, they offer little to no benefit over placebo for mild to moderate depression.

... MORE