Perspectives: Health Care Worker Burnout Is Concerning; Young People Struggling With Mental Health
Editorial pages delve into these public health issues.
How To Stop Losing Our Healthcare Workforce To Burnout
As Americans anticipate a return to normalcy thanks to mass vaccinations, we cannot ignore the fact that our country’s doctors, nurses and first responders are showing signs they are not close to returning to “normal. ”In fact, more healthcare workers say they are becoming disillusioned with the medical profession and there are troubling signals that many will not return. Our workforce is experiencing a decreased sense of feeling valued and losing the sense of purpose and meaning in their work. (Corey Feist, 5/4)
The Boston Globe:
Young Americans Are Facing A Mental Health Crisis And Need Action
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout well underway across the country, it is tempting to deem the pandemic over. But after bearing so many of the losses of the past year — as essential workers, as college students, and as the family and friends of COVID-19 victims — young Americans are facing a mental health crisis. Our generation is in desperate need of support. We are student leaders of the Harvard Public Opinion Project, a polling outlet within the Kennedy School that regularly surveys young Americans nationally in a political context. For our spring survey, we asked respondents about their mental health, since we were concerned that symptoms of depression and anxiety were on the rise among our peers. (Ellen M. Burstein and Alan Zhang, 5/6)
How Human Challenge Trials Can Accelerate Vaccine Development
In 1955, Jonas Salk developed and debuted the inactivated polio vaccine. Within five years, cases of polio in the United States dropped drastically, and childhood vaccinations for infectious diseases like polio became a new standard of care. The Salk vaccine heralded a new dawn for treating infectious diseases during the 1960s, specifically severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in children. However, when a formalin-inactivated version of an RSV virus vaccine similar to the polio vaccine was trialed in 1967, many immunized infants actually experienced an enhanced form of RSV disease—complete with high fever, bronchopneumonia and wheezing—when they later became infected with wild-type, or naturally occurring, RSV viruses circulating in the community. (Nicolas Noulin, 5/5)
Faster Approval Of Complex Generics Is Central To Affordable Care
The push to improve Americans’ use of effective and less-expensive generic medications is getting a much-needed push from the Generic Drug User Fee Act currently being negotiated between the Food and Drug Administration and the generics industry. This act can help improve access to complex generic medicines. That’s important for people with almost any condition, and is especially important for those with asthma and allergies, who I represent as president and CEO of the Allergy & Asthma Network. (Tonya Winders, 5/6)
Do You Really Need 8 Glasses Of Water Per Day?
The warmer weather and longer days have inspired reminders to "stay hydrated" and drink eight glasses of water -- or about two liters -- a day. Not to burst anyone's water bottle, but healthy people can actually die from drinking too much water. I am an exercise physiologist, and my research focuses on overhydration and how drinking too much water affects the body. (Tamara Hew-Butler, 5/5)
New England Journal of Medicine:
Progress With Treatments For Alzheimer’s Disease
An estimated 50 million people worldwide have dementia, mostly due to Alzheimer’s disease. The inexorable progression of Alzheimer’s disease exerts a huge toll on patients, families, and society, costing approximately $1 trillion annually, an amount that is likely to increase with the growing number of elderly people. It is no surprise that Alzheimer’s disease is among the most feared diseases of aging. Hence, there is widespread interest as new clinical trial results are reported, but also much angst given all the trial failures to date. This issue of the Journal provides some tentative hope with the results of TRAILBLAZER-ALZ, a phase 2 clinical trial of donanemab, an antiamyloid monoclonal antibody, in early Alzheimer’s disease. (Allan I. Levey, M.D., Ph.D., 5/6)