Bmj Usa: Minerva


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E243

From BMJ USA 2003;July:398

There's now quite a lot of evidence that eating fish and omega 3 fatty acids protects people from coronary heart disease. But most studies have looked at general populations, rather than high risk populations. The nurses' health study—involving more than 120 000 women—produced a cohort of over 5000 with type 2 diabetes. In these women, a higher consumption of fish was also associated with a lower incidence of heart disease and total mortality (Circulation 2003;107:1852–1857).

“Elderspeak”'—the patronizing communication style often heard in nursing homes—may unknowingly reinforce dependency, isolation, and depression in elderly people. A study published in the Gerontologist (2003;43:242–247) found that a brief intervention which teaches staff to minimize their use of elderspeak was successful. Anecdotally, the residents were apparently aware of a change in the way staff spoke to them, but time will tell if the hoped for benefits of such a change will occur.

A study of two homes for elderly people in the United States makes depressing reading. Not only was the physical environment not conducive to end of life care (noisy, crowded rooms, offering little privacy) but organizational factors also …

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