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Evidence-Based Medicine: A Myth in the Making

BusinessWeek had a wonderful cover article last week about the myth of evidence-based medicine, as Dr. David Eddy has spent a career in illustrating to other doctors and anybody else who will listen. As noted below, somewhere in the range of 20-25% of our medicine practices are evidence-based -- that is, there is strong objective research evidence to support a particular treatment or intervention for a particular medical problem or disease. Most of what doctors do is based upon their own clinical judgment...
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Many Health Wikis are Cropping Up

This recently came across my desk via the medical web list, and I thought it might be interesting to those who track the intersection of health and wikis:

The Clinical Informatics Wiki -- Clinfowiki

RHIO Wiki: RHIOs and Health Information Exchanges

Child and Youth Mental Health Wiki:
A Pilot Project Wiki Sante mentale des enfants et des ados: un projet pilote

Health Information Technology Community of Practice Project Home Page
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Psychiatric drugs fare favorably when companies pay for studies

Psychiatric drugs fare favorably when companies pay for studies

You may have missed this last week, as I did, that yet another study confirms the bias in clinical drug trials as favoring the company who pays for the study.

Drug companies fund a growing number of the studies in leading psychiatric journals, and drugs fare much better in these company-funded studies than in trials done independently or by competitors, researchers reported Wednesday.

About 57% of published studies were paid for by drug companies in 2002, compared...
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Bogus Teen Cell Phone Study

Teens' Heavy Cellphone Use Could Signal Unhappiness, Study Finds

The Los Angeles Times reports on a bogus study:

A survey of 575 South Korean high school students found that the top third of users — students who used their phones more than 90 times a day — frequently did so because they were unhappy or bored. They scored significantly higher on tests measuring depression and anxiety than students who used their phones a more sedate 70 times daily.

So think about that for a moment --...
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Botox Appears to Ease Depression Symptoms

Botox Appears to Ease Depression Symptoms

This is fascinating finding, because, as the article suggests, perhaps it is the physical act of smiling (or being able to smile) that can change one's mood as readily as any antidepressant. Smile more and your mood will improve naturally.

Therapists have long encouraged their clients to do things that didn't feel natural. For instance, if a person has depression and that person is in therapy, the therapist may suggest doing one physical activity per day (such as taking...
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Vaccine for Cervical Cancer One Step Closer

Federal advisers back cervical cancer vaccine

Cancer is a debilitating physical illness, but it also has a devastating impact on a person's emotional health and well-being. Among women with cancer, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer. If a woman gets this diagnosis, it can be the worst day of her life.

New hope comes to women in the form of a vaccine that appears to prevent this form of cancer in most women.

Merck's vaccine can prevent 100 percent of infections for the...
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Stigma Busting

Viewed 3249 Times is a powerful self-portrait posted to Flickr along with stigma-busting facts about mental health. By the time I upload this photo, more than 3249 people will have seen it. It's always been my hope that one day, through my art, I would be able to beat the stigma of mental illness, one person at a time.

I guess this is a good start.

Some statistics:

- Severe mental illnesses are biologically-based brain diseases that profoundly disrupt a person's ability to think,...
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Pregnancy and Depression

A recent Newsweek article titled Not Always 'The Happiest Time' looks at pregnancy and depression. Although roughly 20% of pregnant women suffer depression (comparable to the general population) it may be overlooked due to assumptions that pregnancy makes you happy or somehow wards against...
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Why e-mails are so easily misunderstood |

It's all about me: Why e-mails are so easily misunderstood |

The Christian Science Monitor has a great article that describes the difficulty with online communication:

Though e-mail is a powerful and convenient medium, researchers have identified three major problems. First and foremost, e-mail lacks cues like facial expression and tone of voice. That makes it difficult for recipients to decode meaning well. Second, the prospect of instantaneous communication creates an urgency that pressures e-mailers to think and write quickly, which can lead to...
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