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Psychopharmacology Prescribing Workshops: A Novel Method for Teaching Psychiatry Residents How to Talk to Patients About Medications

Kavanagh, Eileen P; Cahill, John; Arbuckle, Melissa R; Lenet, Alison E; Subramanyam, Kalyani; Winchel, Ronald M; Nossel, Ilana; DeSilva, Ravi; Caravella, Rachel A; Ackerman, Marra; Park, Henry C; Ross, David A
OBJECTIVE: Traditional, lecture-based methods of teaching pharmacology may not translate into the skills needed to communicate effectively with patients about medications. In response, the authors developed an interactive course for third-year psychiatry residents to reinforce prescribing skills. METHODS: Residents participate in a facilitated group discussion combined with a role-play exercise where they mock-prescribe medication to their peers. Each session is focused on one medication or class of medications with an emphasis on various aspects of informed consent (such as describing the indication, dosing, expected benefits, potential side effects, and necessary work-up and follow up). In the process of implementing the course at a second site, the original format was modified to include self-assessment measures and video examples of experienced faculty members prescribing to a simulated patient. RESULTS: The course was initially developed at one site and has since been disseminated to a number of other institutions. Between 2010 and 2016, 144 residents participated in the course at the authors' two institutions. Based upon pre/post surveys conducted with a subset of residents, the course significantly improved comfort with various aspects of prescribing. Although residents may also gain comfort in prescribing with experience (as the course coincides with the major outpatient clinical training year), improvement in comfort-level was also noted for medications that residents had relatively little experience initiating. At the end of the year, half of the residents indicated the course was one of their top three preferred methods for learning psychopharmacology in addition to direct clinical experience and supervision (with none listing didactics). CONCLUSION: An interactive prescribing workshop can improve resident comfort with prescribing and may be preferred over a traditional, lecture-based approach. The course may be particularly helpful for those medications that are less commonly used. Based upon our experience, this approach can be easily implemented across institutions..
PMID: 28194682
ISSN: 1545-7230
CID: 2449102

Plakophilin-2 is required for expression of a transcription-al network that controls calcium cycling: A novel arrhythmia mechanism in arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy [Meeting Abstract]

Cerrone, M; Montnach, J; Lin, X; Zhang, M; Malkani, K; Agullo-Pascual, E; Leo-Macias, A; Opbergen, C V; Tester, D; Ackerman, M; Van, Veen A; Valdivia, H; Delmar, M
Background: Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (also known as "ARVC") is an inherited disease characterized by fibrous or fibrofatty infiltration of the heart muscle, commonly of right ventricular (RV) predominance, ventricular arrhythmias, and high propensity for sudden death. Sudden cardiac arrest frequently associates with exercise and most often occurs in early adulthood during the subclinical ("concealed") phase of the disease. Understanding electrical remodeling in the early stage of the disease is paramount to understand sudden death mechanisms. Methods: We generated a cardiomyocyte-specif-ic, tamoxifen-activated, PKP2 knockout murine line (alphaMHC-Cre-ERT2/PKP2 fl/fl) which allowed us to control the onset of PKP2 loss of expression, limit it to adult cardiomyocytes, and establish a time line for progression of molecular and functional events. Results: The first consequence of PKP2 loss was RV mechanical dysfunction (14 days post-tamoxifen injection, 14 dpi), followed by fibrosis of RV predominance and RV dilation (21 dpi), then biventricular dilated cardiomyopa-thy and left ventricular (LV) failure (28 dpi and beyond). End-stage failure and death occurred between 30 and 49 dpi. Isoproterenol (ISO)-induced ventricular arrhythmias were first detected prior to LV dysfunction (17/17 mice), and ISO-induced fatal ventricular fibrillation was observed only at 16 dpi, i.e., during the concealed stage (3/9). Differential tran-scriptome analysis at 21 dpi revealed reduced transcript levels for a gene network involved in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) cycling, most critically genes encoding Ca2+ channel proteins (RyR2 and CaV1.2) and structural molecules that scaffold the dyad (ankyrin-B and triadin). Nanoscale imaging (3D super-resolution microscopy, SICM, and FIB-SEM) showed preservation of T-tubular structure, reduced size and increased separation of CaV1.2 clusters, and displacement of functional CaV1.2 channels from the T-tubular domain. Calcium imaging showed disruption of [Ca2+]i homeostasis, potentially causative of ventricular arrhythmias. Flecainide i.p. prevented ISO-induced arrhythmias in all animals. Retrospective analysis of clinical cases showed instances of sudden cardiac arrest without structural disease and suspect diagnosis of catechol-aminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) later revealed to foster PKP2 nonsense mutations. Conclusions: Our data provide the first evidence that PKP2 deficiency in adult ventricular myocytes is sufficient to cause an arrhythmo-genic cardiomyopathy of RV predominance. Adrenergic-induced arrhythmias and sudden death occur before the onset of overt structural disease and can mimic a CPVT phenotype. Our data also document a transcript-based [Ca2+]i dysfunction as a new key mechanism of arrhythmias in PKP2-deficient hearts and suggest flecainide as potential effective antiarrhyth-mic treatment
ISSN: 1572-8595
CID: 2683012

Psychological effects of invasive cardiac surgery and cardiac transplantation

Chapter by: Ackerman, MG; Shapiro, PA
in: Handbook of Psychocardiology by
pp. 567-584
ISBN: 9789812872067
CID: 2687102


Klein, Gad; Ettinger, A.; Perrine, K.; Hwang, S.; Schaffer, S.; Jain, S.; Ackerman, M.; Mehta, A.
ISSN: 0013-9580
CID: 5356382

Patient literacy and question-asking behavior during the medical encounter: a mixed-methods analysis

Katz, Marra G; Jacobson, Terry A; Veledar, Emir; Kripalani, Sunil
BACKGROUND: Although patient participation in the medical encounter confers significant benefits, many patients are reluctant to ask questions of their physicians. Patients' literacy level may affect their level of participation and question-asking behaviors. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of literacy on the number and types of questions asked by patients during primary care office visits. DESIGN: Convenience sample recruited between April and November 2004. Physician-patient visits were audiotaped, and patient questions from complete encounters (N = 57) were coded using an adaptation of the Roter Interaction Analysis System. PATIENTS: Participants were predominantly middle-aged (mean age = 56.7 years), female (75.4%), and African American (94.7%). Low literacy skills (< or = 6th grade reading level) were present in 38.6%. MEASUREMENTS: We hypothesized prospectively that low-literacy patients would ask fewer total questions and fewer questions about key aspects of their medical care. RESULTS: Low-literacy adults asked significantly fewer questions about medical care issues (median = 4 vs 6 among patients with higher literacy levels, p = .014). They also tended to ask fewer questions overall (median = 7 vs 10, p = .070). Low-literacy patients were more likely to ask the physician to repeat something (p = .013), indicating an initial lack of understanding. They were less likely to use medical terminology, refer to medications by name, request additional services, or seek new information. Question-asking behavior was not significantly related to patient gender, age, years of education, or physician-patient gender concordance. CONCLUSIONS: Literacy level appears to be an important determinant of patients' participation in the medical encounter. Low-literacy patients ask fewer questions about their medical care, and this may affect their ability to learn about their medical conditions and treatments.
PMID: 17431697
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 1609092

Development of an illustrated medication schedule as a low-literacy patient education tool

Kripalani, Sunil; Robertson, Rashanda; Love-Ghaffari, Melissa H; Henderson, Laura E; Praska, Jessica; Strawder, Akilah; Katz, Marra G; Jacobson, Terry A
OBJECTIVE: Patients with low health literacy have difficulty understanding prescription drug labels and other medication instructions. This article describes the development, implementation, and preliminary evaluation of an illustrated medication schedule (a "pill card") that depicts a patient's daily medication regimen using pill images and icons. METHODS: Participants in a randomized controlled trial who were assigned to receive the pill card intervention described their use of the card and its perceived effectiveness. Responses were analyzed by level of patient literacy and other characteristics. RESULTS: Among the 209 respondents, 173 (83%) reported using the pill card when they initially received it, though use declined to 60% approximately 3 months later. Patients with inadequate or marginal literacy skills, less than high school education, or cognitive impairment were most likely to refer to the card on a regular basis initially and at 3 months (p<0.05). Most pill card users (92%) rated the tool as very easy to understand, and 94% found it helpful for remembering important medication information, such as the name, purpose, or time of administration. CONCLUSION: Nearly all patients considered an illustrated medication schedule to be a useful and easily understood tool to assist with medication management. Patients with limited literacy skills, educational attainment, or cognitive function referred to the aid with greater frequency. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Picture-based instructions promote better understanding of prescription medications, particularly among patients with limited literacy skills or cognitive impairment, and should be used more widely in practice.
PMID: 17344015
ISSN: 0738-3991
CID: 1609102

Use of pictorial aids in medication instructions: a review of the literature

Katz, Marra G; Kripalani, Sunil; Weiss, Barry D
PURPOSE: The effects of pictorial aids in medication instructions on medication recall, comprehension, and adherence are reviewed. SUMMARY: Many patients depend on medication labels and patient information leaflets for pertinent drug information, but these materials are often difficult for patients to understand. Research in psychology and marketing indicates that humans have a cognitive preference for picture-based, rather than text-based, information. Studies have shown that pictorial aids improve recall, comprehension, and adherence and are particularly useful for conveying timing of doses, instructions on when to take medicine, and the importance of completing a course of therapy. Other research has compared various techniques for using picture-based information and supports the use of integrative instructions, a combination of textual, oral, and pictorial communication, to promote comprehension and adherence. While pictures have generally proven useful for improving patient comprehension and adherence, not all picture-based interventions have produced successful results. Some icons, particularly clock icons, have been found to be too complex to enhance understanding and could not overcome the advantage provided by the familiarity of the textbased format, suggesting that patients be trained to use pictorial medication information before they are expected to use icons as an aid for medication administration. In addition to enhancing understanding, pictorial aids have been found to improve patients' satisfaction with medication instructions. CONCLUSION: The use of pictorial aids enhances patients' understanding of how they should take their medications, particularly when pictures are used in combination with written or oral instructions.
PMID: 17106013
ISSN: 1079-2082
CID: 1609112

A prescription for cultural competence in medical education

Kripalani, Sunil; Bussey-Jones, Jada; Katz, Marra G; Genao, Inginia
Cultural competence programs have proliferated in U.S. medical schools in response to increasing national diversity, as well as mandates from accrediting bodies. Although such training programs share common goals of improving physician-patient communication and reducing health disparities, they often differ in their content, emphasis, setting, and duration. Moreover, training in cross-cultural medicine may be absent from students' clinical rotations, when it might be most relevant and memorable. In this article, the authors recommend a number of elements to strengthen cultural competency education in medical schools. This "prescription for cultural competence" is intended to promote an active and integrated approach to multicultural issues throughout medical school training.
PMID: 16836623
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 1609122