Donald F. Graves1*, Gayle S. Morse1,4, Kathleen Kerr2, David O. Carpenter3,4
1Psychology Department, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY, USA
2Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3School of Public Health, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA
4Institute for Health & the Environment, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA
Gulf War Illess (GWI) is a serious health concern for 30% of veterans who were deployed during the first Gulf War. Symptoms include reduced physical, psychological, and neuropsychological wellness and function. Research indicates that these symptoms can be linked to environmental toxins that veterans were exposed to during their time in theater. Some data suggest that continued internal exposure may be maintaining the illness, thus a detoxification procedure could be of assistance to those experiencing GWI. Reviewed here is a novel detoxification procedure applied as a treatment for GWI and the positive outcomes associated with this procedure. Presented here is a brief logic for the detoxification method, a simple summary of the method, and the encouraging outcomes of the method. Awareness of this and similar detoxification methods’ impacts on GWI symptoms should highlight the need for more research on this and related topics.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1204 View / Download Pdf
Addressing the Emotional Distress of Healthcare Workers: Creating a Cohesive Resiliency Program Response to COVID-19
K Gilrain*, P Fizur, R Allen, E Campbell, P Watson, S Jordan, E Kupersmith, A Rostain
Division of Behavioral Medicine, Cooper University Hospital, USA
Background: Promoting resilience in healthcare workers is a well-studied area that has taken on new significance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Extant literature suggests a need to expand resiliency efforts, with a recommended focus on multimodal approaches.
Purpose: The present account describes the unique challenges faced by one urban, northeastern academic medical center during the COVID-19 crisis in promoting resiliency in their healthcare workers at all levels, with the related aim of examining feasibility and acceptability of doing so.
Methods: A review of existing procedures targeting wellness and resiliency at this hospital was completed. A literature review was conducted with regard to promoting resiliency and preventing burnout, with emphasis placed on case studies from other institutions during the pandemic. Post-intervention surveys were conducted to assess feasibility and acceptability.
Results: A multi-component approach was created based on a review of the literature and all available information. The current report focuses on the first five weeks of that effort, the results of which suggest sufficient feasibility and high acceptability among those surveyed. Common themes raised in support sessions are also identified and discussed.
Conclusions: The challenges raised by COVID-19 are significant, with a high probability of impact on the wellbeing of health care workers. Targeting resiliency now may be a key factor in preventing pathological responses later. The current approach appears feasible and acceptable with regard to targeting key resiliency areas. Future studies should focus on the longer term outcomes of these efforts.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1210 View / Download Pdf
DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1207 View / Download Pdf
Dena M. Bravata1,2*, Divya K. Madhusudhan2, Michael Boroff2, Kevin O. Cokley3
1Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
2Crossover Health, San Clemente, CA
3University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
1Seven Counties Services, Louisville KY, USA (Formerly, Centerstone)
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Louisville, Louisville KY, USA
Benzodiazepines have been commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia in the last few decades. There has been a rising concern regarding safety of benzodiazepines due to overdose related deaths, addictions, and cognitive side effects. COVID- 19 pandemic is expected to cause a mental health crisis. Several studies have shown an increase in anxiety and insomnia. This could mean that prescriptions of benzodiazepine could increase due to increase in anxiety and insomnia. We caution health care providers to use best practices and treat patients with psychotherapy as the first line of treatment and not pharmacotherapy. Prescription Drug Monitoring programs (PDMPs) were started due to this concern of overdose deaths, diversion related to opioids and benzodiazepines. PDMPs are mandatory in most states in the United States of America now.We recommend all health care providers to look at their benzodiazepine prescribing practice, monitor PDMP data and make policies to implement changes in order to avoid the next crisis of benzodiazepines after opioids.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1214 View / Download Pdf