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Thu, December 20, 2007

A CBSSM study found that colostomy patients who felt that their condition was irreversible reported better quality of life than those who hoped that they would be cured. For a summary, see this press release and video. The researchers are Dylan M. Smith, PhD; Peter A. Ubel, MD; Aleksandra Jankovic, MS (all at the University of Michigan); and George Loewenstein, PhD, (of Carnegie Mellon University). Health Psychology will publish the article in mid-November 2009.

Press coverage of this research has been extensive. Peter Bregman reported on the study in the July 2009 Business Week Online, applying the concepts to help people manage their stressful and unpredictable lives. Read his full article here. Preliminary data from this study were cited in the 7th Annual “Year in Ideas” issue of the New York Times Magazine in December 2007. Read recent international media coverage:
US News and World Report Health Day
Voice of America Radio
Daily Mail UK
Reuters India

The Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University has posted information about its 2011-12 Brown Bag/Webinar Series.  All sessions take place 12-1 pm in C-102 East Fee Hall on the East Lansing campus.  Sessions for the fall include:
September 7: Helen Veit, PhD, "The ethics of aging in an age of youth: Rising life expectancy in the early twentieth century United States"
October 19: Scott Kim, MD, PhD, "Democratic deliberation about surrogate consent for dementia research"
November 10: Stuart J. Youngner, MD, "Regulated euthanasia in the Netherlands: Is it working?"
December 7: Karen Meagher, PhD candidate, "Trustworthiness in public health practice"
See www.bioethics.msu.edu/ for more information.

Funded by National Science Foundation.

Funding Years: 2013-2016

The goal of this supplemental proposal is to conduct preproduction activities that will allow the successful and efficient collection of the PSID data in 2013. Specifically, the aims are to 1) conduct scientific review and development of the 2013 instrument, 2) program and test the new instrument, including the fielding of a pretest, 3) develop respondent contact materials, including a contact information update request, and other pre-interview informational materials, 4) conduct an interviewer training for the 2013 field effort, including the development of training materials and content that will lead to interviewer certification.

PI(s): Charles Brown

Co-I(s): Mick Couper, Katherine McGonagle

 

Depicting Risks and Benefits of Medical Treatment (Dec-12)

Imagine that you have just been diagnosed with high cholesterol.  You are asked to decide whether or not take a type of drug called a statin to lower your cholesterol.  In order to help you decide, you are given information about the risk and benefits of taking statins.

On the following page, consider 4 different formats for presenting the risks and benefits.  

 

The ethics of resuscitation (Sep-11)

Traditional ethical teaching suggests that a physician's assessment of a patient's best interest should guide the decision of whether to administer emergency life-sustaining therapy, absent guidance by the patient or family members.  In pediatric medicine, physicians may insist on life-saving therapy if they believe it is in a child's best interest to receive it, even if the parents seek to refuse it.  It is unclear exactly how physicians make such assessments, however, and whether/how these assessments influence decision-making in critical situations.  Consider the following scenario:

How Risky are "High Risk" Kidneys? (May-11)

The government requires that potential kidney transplant recipients be informed if an organ donor engaged in CDC categorized "high risk" behaviors. Are these "high risk" donor kidneys associated with worse survival rates following transplantation? Does this label "high risk" result in usable kidneys being discarded?

How old is too old for cancer screening? (Feb-11)

Cancer screening is generally recommended for people over the age of 50. Screening tests, such as colonoscopies, mammograms and PSAs (prostatespecific antigen), can help detect cancer at an early stage andprevent deaths. These screening tests, however, do have risks so,along with their doctor, people need to make a decision about howoften to get screened and when or if one should stop gettingscreened.

Consider the question:

Now, imagine that you were screened for cancer about a year ago and no cancer was found. You and your doctor are talking about when you should come back for screening in the future. Your doctor explains that cancer screening guidelines recommend that you do come back for more screening tests but as you get older, screening for cancer is no longer a good option. Your doctor states that you should follow this recommendation as you age. Now, imagine that you were screened for cancer about a year ago and no cancer was found. You and your doctor are talking about when you should come back for screening in the future. Your doctor explains that cancer screening guidelines recommend that you do come back for more screening tests but as you get older, screening for cancer is no longer a good option. Your doctor states that you should follow this recommendation as you age.

 
Would you plan to stop getting screening tests for cancer at a certain age?
  • Yes
  • No

How do your answers compare?

In a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, CBSSM Investigators and Mick Couper and Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, together with lead author Carmen Lewis (Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina) and several co-authors, explored decisions about stopping cancer screening tests. This study was part of the DECISIONS study, a large survey of U.S. adults about common medical decisions.
 
Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended against prostate screening for men aged 75 and older, and recommended against routine screening for CRC screening after age 75 and any CRC screening after age 85. Cancer screening for prostate cancer, CRC and breast cancer helps to detect cancer at an early stage when they are easier to treat. However, as a person gets older, the risks of these tests become larger than the benefits.
Data was collected from 1,237 individuals aged 50 and older who reported having made one or more cancer screening decisions in the past 2 years. Participants were asked about their plans of whether or not to stop cancer screening as well as characteristics of themselves and their health care provider.
 
Only 9.8% of people planned to stop getting screened for cancer when they reached a certain age. This percentage varied by type of cancer, age and race of the participant and how much the participant was responsible for the decision apart from their health care professional.
 
Of the 119 people who gave a specific age that they planned to stop getting cancer screening the average age they did or plan to stop was 74.8 for breast cancer, 76.8 for colon cancer and 82.9 for prostate cancer.
 
The study authors concluded that “plans to stop screening were uncommon among participants who had recently faced a screening decision”. They also concluded that further research is needed to understand how people think about the risks and benefits of screening when life expectancy is short and that education around this topic may be beneficial.
 

To learn more about this study, see:

 

Funded by the National Institutes of Health

Funding Years: 2015-2016

POINT is a randomized, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial to determine whether clopidogrel 75mg/day (after a loading dose of 600mg) is effective in improving survival free from major ischemic vascular events (ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, and ischemic vascular death) at 90 days when initiated within 12 hours time last known free of new ischemic symptoms of TIA or minor ischemic stroke in subjects receiving aspirin 50-325mg/day.

PI(s): Claiborne Johnston

Co-I(s):  J. Donald Easton, Mary Farrant, William Barsan, Holly Battenhouse, Robin Conwit, Catherine Dillon, Jordan Elm, Anne Lindblad, Lewis Morgenstern, Sharon Poisson, Yuko Palesch

Thu, May 26, 2011

Raymond De Vries was appointed Professor of Midwifery Science at the University of Maastricht (Netherlands) in November 2010.  As is the custom in European universities, he delivered an inaugural lecture, outlining the educational and research goals of his professorship on May 26, 2011.  It was preceded by a research symposium focusing on risk in maternity care, with speakers exploring the way risk is measured and used by care providers and the way pregnant women respond to assessments of risk they are given. Click here to view a video of his inaugural address, which is in English. Click here for a news article about Dr. De Vries, in Dutch.

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