Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who just could not or would not express their feelings? The lack of intimate communication can be the demise of many relationships. Although you may have believed you were involved with a partner who just didn’t want to “share” his/her feelings, in actuality you may have been dealing with a person who suffers from Alexithymia.
The term “Alexithymia” was coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifenos in 1973. It is described as a personality trait in which a person has difficulty sharing or understanding emotional issues. Sufferers often do not possess the ability to distinguish between feelings and bodily sensations. They have very stoic personalities and typically only engage in relationships because, as human beings, we naturally desire to “belong” to someone.
According to Nick Frye-Cox, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri, physiological responses to this condition are: sweaty palms, increased heart rate and the inability to identify emotions as sad, happy or angry. Symptoms of Alexithymia are similar to the symptoms of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, i.e.: issues with speech, language and social relationships. According to the Journal of Affective Disorders article, Effects of childhood trauma on somatization in major depressive disorder: The role of alexithymia, emotional abuse during childhood can affect the emergence of Alexithymia as an adult.
Currently the cause of Alexithymia has not been defined; however, studies have concluded that some people are genetically predisposed to develop the personality trait, while others develop the trait as a result of childhood abuse.
read more articles on Alexithymia at mdlinx.com/psychiatry
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Fact or Fiction: Educating skin cancer survivors on risks of tanning bed use could reduce recurrence of melanoma.
Well… it depends on the individual. For more than 20% of skin cancer survivors, the desire to maintain a killer tan overrides the known dangers of tanning bed use and overexposure to sunlight without sunscreen. According to an article published on MDLinx, “Some melanoma survivors still use tanning beds, skip sunscreen,”it’s important to understand that melanoma, although the least common type of skin cancer, is the most dangerous, claiming over 9,000 American lives annually. While the majority of melanoma survivors educate themselves and take precautionary measures to protect themselves from recurrence, reportedly over 20% do not.
Major risk factors for melanoma include:
- Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, commonly due to sunlight and tanning beds/lamps on unprotected skin
- Fair skin and Freckles
- Immune suppression
At the most recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, a study found that 27% of melanoma survivors still do not use sunscreen, 15% rarely stayed in the shade when outdoors and 2% still use tanning beds.
Many medical professionals find it disturbing that after surviving skin cancer, patients continue their pre-cancer perilous behavior by not implementing the recommended skin protection practices and ignoring the risk of recurrence. Tthere is clearly a need for more effective intervention and education on the part of healthcare providers to reduce the use of tanning beds/lamps and exposure to the sunlight, especially when educating patients who have already survived a bout with skin cancer. The question remains: Can better outcomes be achieved in time to save lives?
Find more articles about skin cancer at mdlinx.com/oncology:
As the shift from traditional fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement gains momentum, many practices are adding patient navigators and care coordinators to their teams. In fact, one out of every five respondents to 2013 Staff Salary Survey said they employ a care coordinator whose sole job is to coordinate patient care and/or offer referrals to other healthcare providers.
What is a care coordinator? The role of care coordinator is difficult to define because it often differs practice to practice. Still, care coordinators tend to share some common responsibilities, such as helping patients navigate the healthcare continuum, increasing patient outreach and monitoring (especially of high-risk patients and/or those with chronic conditions), and helping manage transitions of care.
Who is a care coordinator? Because the role of a care coordinator is so patient-centered, many practices employ care coordinators who are also registered nurses. Sometimes practices will ask their current nurses to take on care coordination responsibilities; others will hire nurses whose sole purpose is to serve as care coordinator.
Why care coordinator are gaining traction: Care coordinators tend to be found most often in primary-care practices that are transitioning to medical homes, or that are already medical homes.
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*To read the full article from Physicians Practice, click here, and choose Go To Abstract.