Dually Noted from around the web

December 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

A look at hospice care in MA
According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, “40,000 people in Massachusetts enroll in hospice care each year,” but “the percentage of people with terminal illnesses who seek hospice care is relatively small.” Why? Some say that the Massachusetts’ reputation as a center of medical excellence encourages some to forgo hospice in favor of more treatment, “even knowing the treatment will only extend life, not cure the disease.”

Behavioral health and racial disparities
This week, a study from the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum highlighted racial disparities and behavioral health in Massachusetts, finding that 29.2% of Latino adults with mental illness received treatment compared to 51.5% of whites. Blacks and Asians also seek treatment at lower rates than whites. According to the report, underlying factors, like language barriers and the stigma of mental health issues, may contribute to these disparities.

What it means to be “frail”
Among Americans over age 85, about 40% are considered “frail.” Common traits of frailty include “weight loss of more than 10 pounds in the last year, frequent exhaustion, low levels of activity, slow gait, and poor grip strength.”  Frail people don’t have a diagnosable disease, but they fare poorly when they get sick or suffer an injury.

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