Study finds one in three former ICU patients shows symptoms of depression

A so-called meta-analysis of reports on more than 4,000 patients suggests that almost one in three people discharged from hospital intensive care units (ICUs) has clinically important and persistent symptoms of depression, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine. In some patients, the symptoms can last for a year or more, and they are notably more likely in people with a history of psychological distress before an ICU stay, the investigators say.

The prevalence of depressive symptoms in this population, described in the September issue of the journal¬†Critical Care Medicine, is three to four times that of the general population, says study coauthor O. Joseph Bienvenu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Not only can people with depression have slower physical recovery, but they also experience financial strain because they often cannot return to work and their caregivers must stay home with them,” Bienvenu says.

Full story of former ICU patients and depression at Science Daily

New low-cost workforce extends primary care to homes of older adults

A new study from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute has found that person-centered dementia care, which involves both patients and their caregivers, can be effectively provided by an engaged low-cost workforce — care coordinator assistants.

Under the close supervision of clinical professionals, the care coordinator assistants, known as CCAs, work as integral health care team members conducting home and phone visits with dementia patients and family caregivers. CCAs, who typically have at most two years of post-high school education, are selected through a rigorous and innovative screening process. Once hired and trained, CCAs are assigned tasks focused on patient engagement and caregiver support that require less training and expertise than that of nurses or social workers.

As the number of older adults increases and health care resources cannot keep pace, the question of how to provide good care for this growing population has become increasingly pressing.

Full story of low-cost workforce and primary care at Science Daily

Novel population health management program yields major health improvement

The Aging Brain Care Medical Home, a novel population health management program implemented in the homes of older adults achieves significant health improvement for individuals with depression and also substantial stress reduction in family caregivers of dementia patients, according to a new study by investigators from the Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Eskenazi Health.

The researchers report at least a 50 percent reduction in symptoms in two-thirds of patients with moderately severe depressive symptoms such as feeling hopeless, feeling bad about oneself or having trouble concentrating. They also found a 50 percent reduction in stress symptoms in half of caregivers of patients with dementia.

Full story of a novel population health management program at Science Daily