Speakers at Thomas Jefferson University's Population Health Colloquium said the elderly face chronic problems with loneliness, social isolation and food insecurity, which can affect health and increase health care costs. A Humana program that screens patients for food insecurity and refers them to resources found people were willing to receive guidance on federal food programs and local food banks, according to Dr. Andrew Renda, director of the insurer's "Bold Goal" initiative.
School board members in Wake County, N.C., seek more funding for counselors and other support staff to address three straight years of rising student suspensions in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. County government denied a request for $10 million for such staff last year, a board member said.
Plans to eliminate six social worker positions in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District in Massachusetts may be dropped in the wake of strong public opposition. "I am convinced social workers are an integral part of the school system and should be retained," said Selectman Michael Stone.
Social workers at the Denver Public Library are helping to assist people experiencing homelessness or mental illness. The initiative is overseen by the Colorado Mental Wellness Network with a federal grant.
Effective suicide prevention strategies are available, but few physicians and fewer than half of mental health professionals are trained to use them, according to the editors of Scientific American. It also notes that fewer than one-fourth of social work programs train students on spotting people at risk of suicide and helping to prevent it.
The Trump administration plans to delay gathering of new data on foster children and families until 2022 as part of a larger reconsideration of Obama-era regulations on the issue. Calling the move "indefensible," the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee vowed to oppose Lynn Johnson's nomination as US welfare chief until there is a timeline to implement the regulation.
The US Preventive Services Task Force published updated guidelines in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommending health care providers offer behavioral counseling to youths and young adults up to age 24 who have a fair complexion, as well as parents of fair-skinned children as young as 6 months, to curb skin cancer risk. The guidance, based on a review of 21 studies, also advised that counseling for those ages 25 and older should be based on skin cancer risk, but there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against skin self-examination in adults.
Children and adolescents who experienced family homelessness were more likely to report emotional distress, self-injury, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, compared with nonhomeless peers, researchers reported in Pediatrics. The findings also showed that developmental assets -- such as self-esteem, social competency, school and parent connectedness, empowerment, and academic orientation -- had a slightly less protective effect against adverse emotional health outcomes among those who were homeless.
Eighty-five percent of children younger than 18 with golf cart-related injuries treated at a pediatric trauma center between 2008 and 2016 were ages 5 to 14, while nearly 50% of injuries were moderate or severe, according to a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Researchers also found worse injuries among older children, most commonly injuries of the head and neck.
A study in PLOS One on discontinuation rates of seven rheumatoid arthritis biologic treatments found that 20.9% of patients stopped treatment due to inefficacy, 10.9% for nontoxic reasons, 8.3% for toxic adverse events and 3.8% as the result of remission. Abatacept had a 60.7% retention rate at 36 months, while infliximab and adalimumab had the lowest retention rates, at 31.1% and 32.7% respectively, although infliximab showed higher discontinuation rates due to remission than the other six biologics.