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Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness
Source: Institute of Medicine

Between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome—commonly referred to as ME/ CFS. This disease is characterized by profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion of any sort. ME/CFS can severely impair patients’ ability to conduct their normal lives.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Insti­tutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Social Security Administration asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene an expert committee to examine the evidence base for ME/CFS. In Beyond Myal­gic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, the com­mittee proposes new diagnostic criteria that will facilitate timely diagnosis and care and enhance understanding among health care providers and the public.

Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults

February 5, 2015 Comments off

Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults
Source: Institute of Medicine, National Research Council

Young adulthood—ages approximately 18 to 26—is a critical period of development with long-lasting implications for a person’s economic security, health, and well-being.

Recognizing the need for a special focus on young adulthood, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Department of Defense commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) to convene a committee of experts to review what is known about the health, safety, and well-being of young adults and to offer recommendations for policy and research.

The resulting report, Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults, offers federal, state, and local policy makers and program leaders, as well as employers, nonprofit organizations, and other community partners’ guidance in developing and enhancing policies and programs to improve young adults’ health, safety, and well-being. In addition, the report suggests priorities for research to inform policies and programs for young adults.

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief

November 23, 2014 Comments off

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief
Source: Institute of Medicine

The current epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), cause by a filovirus, has spread internationally, now affecting multiple continents, and has become the worst EVD outbreak in history since its discovery in 1976. While the Ebola viruses have typically been studied in laboratory settings, additional biomedical and public health research in real world settings can best prepare the United States to safeguard the public and at-risk workers.

At the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the National Research Council, convened a workshop on November 3, 2014 with key stakeholders and experts to discuss the research priorities that could guide medical and public health practice. Discussions included the degree of transmission and biopersistence of the virus under a range of conditions and on a variety of materials, as well as issues of handling potentially infected materials, decontamination, and the training and personal protective equipment and usage of traditional and nontraditional workers involved in the full spectrum of this response.

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2
Source: Institute of Medicine

Determinants of health—like physical activity levels and living conditions—have traditionally been the concern of public health and have not been linked closely to clinical practice. However, if standardized social and behavioral data can be incorporated into patient electronic health records (EHRs), those data can provide crucial information about factors that influence health and the effectiveness of treatment.Such information is useful for diagnosis, treatment choices, policy, health care system design, and innovations to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.

With this goal in mind, a committee was convened to conduct a two-phase study, first to identify social and behavioral domains that most strongly determine health, and then to evaluate the measures of those domains that can be used in EHRs.

In Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains in Electronic Health Records: Phase 1, the committee identified 17 domains that they considered to be good candidates for inclusion in EHRs. The second report, Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2, pinpoints 12 measures related to 11 of the initial domains and considers the implications of incorporating them into all EHRs.

Antimicrobial Resistance: A Problem Without Borders (2014)

November 13, 2014 Comments off

Antimicrobial Resistance: A Problem Without Borders (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified antimicrobial resistance as one of five urgent health threats facing the United States this year. Antimicrobial resistance is a global health security threat that will demand collaboration from many stakeholders around the world. This report highlights the crosscutting character of antimicrobial resistance and the needs for many disciplines to be brought together to be able to deal with it more effectively.

Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: Workshop Summary (2014)

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: Workshop Summary (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. Nearly half of all American adults – 90 million people – have inadequate health literacy to navigate the health care system. Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy in November 2013 that focused on the implications of health literacy for the mission and essential services of public health. The workshop featured the presentation of a commissioned paper on health literacy activities under way in public health organizations. Other presentations examined the implications of health literacy for the mission and essential services of public health, for example, community health and safety, disease prevention, disaster management, or health communication. This report includes the commissioned paper and summaries of the workshop presentations.

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector
Source: Institute of Medicine, National Research Council

Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. These are not only illegal activities, but also forms of violence and abuse that result in immediate and long-term physical, mental, and emotional harm to victims and survivors. In 2013, the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council released the report Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. The report found that the United States is in the very early stages of recognizing, understanding, and developing solutions for these crimes.

Health care professionals need to be able to recognize past, ongoing, or potential victimization by commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking among the youth in their care. Failure to do so increases the possibility that those at risk may become victims, and victims may miss opportunities for assistance and remain vulnerable to further exploitation and abuse.

This Guide for the Health Care Sector provides a summary of information from the original report that is most relevant to individuals who and settings that see children and adolescents for prevention and treatment of injury, illness, and disease. This includes physicians, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, mental health professionals, and dentists who practice in settings such as emergency departments, urgent care, primary care clinics, adolescent medicine clinics, school clinics, shelters, community health centers, and dental clinics among others.

This guide includes definitions of key terms and an overview of risk factors and consequences; barriers to identifying victims and survivors as well as opportunities for overcoming these barriers; examples of current practices in the health care sector; and recommendations aimed at identifying, preventing, and responding to these crimes.

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