Parents’ phone addiction may lead to child behavioural problems

Study suggests that when parents report being distracted by digital technology, this causes interruptions in interactions with their children. | story via The Guardian

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A recent study investigated the impact of “technoference” – when people switch their attention away from others to check their phone or tablet.

The study, carried out in the US, involved more than 300 parents who reported on their use of digital technology, to see if they felt it affected interactions with their children and actual child behaviours. A range of technology devices were studied, including smartphones, computers, television and tablets.

It found half of parents reported that their use of technology disrupted interactions with their child three or more times a day. Behavioural problems in children were linked to these disruptions.

Key findings:

  • On average, mothers and fathers reported about two devices as interfering in their interactions with their child at least once or more on a typical day.
  • Parents reporting problematic use of digital technology (40% of mothers and 32% of fathers) was correlated with technoference with their child.
  • Perceived technoference in mother-child interactions was linked to child behavioural problems – both externalising and internalising behaviour – as rated by mothers and fathers.
  • However, perceived technoference in father-child interactions was not linked to behavioural issues.
  • Only 11% of parents reported that technoference did not occur and 48% reported three or more times on a typical day.

Read more via The Guardian

Full reference: McDaniel BT, Radesky JS. Technoference: Parent Distraction With Technology and Associations With Child Behavior Problems. Child Development. Published online May 10 2017

 

 

Mental health issues higher in public sector workers

Survey from Mental Health charity, Mind finds a higher prevalence of mental health problems in the public sector, as well as a lack of support available when people do speak up.

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The charity surveyed over 12,000 employees across the public and private sectors and found that public sector workers were more likely to say their mental health was poor than their peers in the private sector (15% versus 9%), and far more likely to say they had felt anxious at work on several occasions over the last month (53% compared to 43%).

Public sector workers were more likely to disclose that they had a mental health problem (90% versus 80% in the private sector), were more likely to be honest about the reason for needing time off (69% versus 59%), and more likely to report that the workplace culture made it possible for people to speak openly about their mental health (38% versus 29%).

However, when public sector employees admitted mental health problems, less than half (49%) of them said they felt supported, compared with 61% of staff from the private sector.

Full story: Mind reveals shocking differences in mental health support for public & private sector workers

Person-centred care for older people in care homes

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has published  Person-centred care for older people in care homes

This resource covers the implications of the personalisation agenda for owners and managers of care homes. It summarises information, advice and guidance which will support care home owners and managers as they develop a person-centred (or personalised) approach to care in their homes.

The resource covers the following areas:

Download the full publication: Person-centred care for older people in care homes

Video: What is person-centred care?

 

Improving quality and safety in healthcare

NHS Improvement has published a shared learning resource on Improving quality and safety in healthcare. 

This resource contains case studies from providers that have been rated ‘good’ for safety by the Care Quality Commission.  They offer practical guidance to developing and spreading good practice on the following:

Read more at NHS Improvement

Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggests

People who drink more coffee are less likely to develop liver cancer, an analysis of data from 26 studies has found | Story via The Guardian | BMJ

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Researchers have found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer – and the effect was also found in decaffeinated coffee.

Experts from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh examined data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants.  Compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank one cup a day had a 20% lower risk of developing HCC, according to the study, published in the journal BMJ Open.

Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved. They found the protective effect for decaf was “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee”

Full story via The Guardian

Full reference: Kennedy OJ, Roderick P, Buchanan R, et al. Coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis

 

‘Worryingly’ high levels of suicide amongst people with autism

Suicide rates among people with autism in England have reached “worryingly” high levels, according to experts writing in The Lancet Psychiatry. | Story via OnMedica

The researchers – from Coventry and Newcastle universities – say the issue remains poorly understood and that action is urgently needed to help those most at risk.

Dr Sarah Cassidy from Coventry University cites a clinical study she led in 2014 in which 66% of adults newly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) reported having contemplated suicide. In the same study, which remains the most recent clinical research into suicidality in autism, 35% of the 365 respondents newly diagnosed with AS said they had planned or attempted to end their own life, with 31% reporting that they suffered depression.

A 2016 population study in Sweden also concluded that suicide is a leading cause of premature death in people with autism spectrum disorder.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Cassidy S, Rodgers J. Understanding and prevention of suicide in autism. The Lancet Psychiatry, published 24 May 2017.

Regular chocolate consumption may lower risk of atrial fibrillation, study claims

Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation, shows research published online in the journal Heart. | Story via OnMedica

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Given that regular chocolate consumption, particularly of dark chocolate, has been linked to improvements in various indicators of heart health, the researchers wanted to see if it might also be associated with a lower rate of atrial fibrillation.

The study involved 55,502 (26,400 men and 29,100 women) participants, aged between 50 and 64, from the population-based Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study. Participants provided information on their usual weekly chocolate consumption, with one serving classified as 1 ounce (30 g).

Information on heart disease risk factors, diet, and lifestyle was obtained when the participants were recruited to the study. Their health was then tracked using national registry data on episodes of hospital treatment and deaths.

During the monitoring period, which averaged 13.5 years, 3,346 new cases of atrial fibrillation were diagnosed. After accounting for other factors related to heart disease, the newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation rate was 10% lower for 1-3 servings of chocolate a month than it was for less than one serving a month.

This difference was also apparent at other levels of consumption: 17% lower for one weekly serving; 20% lower for 2-6 weekly servings; and 14% lower for one or more daily servings. However, a linked editorial sounds a note of caution,highlighting that the chocolate eaters in the study were healthier and more highly educated—factors associated with better general health—which might have influenced the findings.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Mostofsky E, Berg Johansen M, Tjønneland A, et al Chocolate intake and risk of clinically apparent atrial fibrillation: the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study. Heart, published online first: 23 May 2017

Guidelines aim to help identify and treat stroke in children

New guidelines on recognising and managing stroke in children have been launched by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Stroke Association to help prevent the potential damage that can occur if symptoms go unrecognised.

Every year around 400 children in the UK have a stroke, and many are left with severe physical and mental impairments.

The guidelines say that most children experiencing a stroke will have similar symptoms to adults—specifically, weakness of the face and on one side of the body and difficulty with speech. Less commonly, childhood strokes may present with seizures or fits affecting one part of the body or, rarely, a new onset sudden severe headache, the guidelines say, adding that many children will have non-specific signs of illness, such as a decrease in consciousness level or vomiting.

The guidelines also highlight a lack of evidence in terms of treating childhood stroke. In a foreword to the guidelines Tony Rudd, professor of stroke medicine at King’s College, London and national clinical director for stroke at NHS England, says that the first edition of the guideline was published 12 years ago and that one of its main findings was the lack of research into stroke in childhood.

Full document: Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stroke Association. Stroke in childhood: clinical guideline for diagnosis, management and rehabilitation. May 2017.

Where body fat is carried can predict cancer risk

Study finds men with over 40in waist and women with over 35in waist are more at risk of cancer as waist size is as good at predicting cancer risk as BMI | via Cancer Research UK 

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Scientists have found that carrying fat around your middle could be as good an indicator of cancer risk as body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer . 

The study combined data from around 43,000 participants who had been followed for an average of 12 years and more than 1,600 people were diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer.

The study found that adding about 11cm to the waistline increased the risk of obesity related cancers by 13 per cent. For bowel cancer, adding around 8 cm to the hips is linked to an increased risk of 15 per cent.

Being overweight or obese is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and is linked to 13 types of cancer including bowel, breast, and pancreas.

Full reference: Freisling et al. Comparison of general obesity and measures of body fat distribution in older adults in relation to cancer risk: meta-analysis of individual participant data of seven prospective cohorts in Europe. British Journal of Cancer. (2017) 116, 1486–1497

Read more at Cancer Research UK