Physician Health Programmes and Malpractice Claims: Reducing Risk Through Monitoring.

Physician health programmes and malpractice claims: reducing risk through monitoring.

Occup Med (Lond). 2013 Apr 19;
Brooks E, Gendel MH, Gundersen DC, Early SR, Schirrmacher R, Lembitz A, Shore JH

BackgroundPhysician health programmes (PHPs) are peer-assistance organizations that provide support to physicians struggling with addiction or with physical or mental health challenges. While the services they offer are setting new standards for recovery and care, they are not immune to public debate and criticism since some have concerns about those who are enrolled in, or have completed, such programmes and their subsequent ability to practice medicine safely.AimsTo examine whether medical malpractice claims were associated with monitoring by a PHP using a retrospective examination of administrative data.MethodsData on PHP clients who were insured by the largest malpractice carrier in the state were examined. First, a business-model analysis of malpractice risk examined relative risk ratings between programme clients and a matched physician cohort. Second, Wilcoxon analysis examined differences in annual rates of pre- and post-monitoring claims for PHP clients only.ResultsData on 818 clients was available for analysis. After monitoring, those enrolled in the programme showed a 20% lower malpractice risk than the matched cohort. Furthermore physicians’ annual rate of claims were significantly lower after programme monitoring among PHP clients (P < 0.01).ConclusionsThis is the only study examining this issue to date. While there are a variety of reasons why physicians present to PHPs, this study demonstrates that treatment and monitoring is associated with a lowered risk of malpractice claims and suggests that patient care may be improved by PHP monitoring. HubMed – addiction


The Measurement Properties of Mentoring Relationship Quality Scales for Mentoring Programs.

Prev Sci. 2013 Apr 23;
Ferro A, Wells S, Speechley KN, Lipman E, Dewit D

The measurement properties of two new scales designed to measure global and engagement mentoring relationship quality (Global Mentoring Relationship Quality Scale and Quality of Mentoring Relationship Engagement Scale) were examined among 272 mentors, 491 children, and 554 parents participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters community mentoring programs across Canada. Results demonstrated their unidimensionality, moderate convergent validity, good external validity, and weak-to-moderate reporter concordance. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated good predictive validity of mentor and parent mentoring relationship quality scales with respect to predicting mentoring relationship status. HubMed – addiction


Neurofeedback Training for Opiate Addiction: Improvement of Mental Health and Craving.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2013 Apr 20;
Dehghani-Arani F, Rostami R, Nadali H

Psychological improvements in patients with substance use disorders have been reported after neurofeedback treatment. However, neurofeedback has not been commonly accepted as a treatment for substance dependence. This study was carried out to examine the effectiveness of this therapeutic method for opiate dependence disorder. The specific aim was to investigate whether treatment leads to any changes in mental health and substance craving. In this experimental study with a pre-post test design, 20 opiate dependent patients undergoing Methadone or Buprenorphine maintenance treatment were examined and matched and randomized into two groups. While both experimental and control groups received their usual maintenance treatment, the experimental group received 30 sessions of neurofeedback treatment in addition. The neurofeedback treatment consisted of sensory motor rhythm training on Cz, followed by an alpha-theta protocol on Pz. Data from the general health questionnaire and a heroin craving questionnaire were collected before and after treatment. Multivariate analysis of covariance showed that the experimental group achieved improvement in somatic symptoms, depression, and total score in general mental health; and in anticipation of positive outcome, desire to use opioid, and relief from withdrawal of craving in comparison with the control group. The study supports the effectiveness of neurofeedback training as a therapeutic method in opiate dependence disorder, in supplement to pharmacotherapy. HubMed – addiction