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This Week in JAMA
August 25, 1999

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 1999;282(8):709. doi:10.1001/jama.282.8.709
Decision Aid Assists Choosing Antithrombotic Therapy

Clinical decision aids are tools that assist patient participation in medical decision making. Man-Son-Hing and colleagues report that among a group of patients who had been in the aspirin cohort of the Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation III trial, 99% of patients randomly assigned to receive usual care and an audiobooklet decision aid at the end of trial made a choice about continued antithrombotic therapy compared with 94% in the group that received usual care alone. Patients in the decision aid group were more knowledgeable about the risks and benefits of antithrombotic therapy, but decisional conflict, satisfaction with the decision-making process, and adherence to the decision after 6 months were similar in the intervention and control groups. In an editorial, Edwards and Elwyn discuss the role of clinical decision aids in the process of shared decision making.

See Article and editorial Article

Risk of HIV Transmission From Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the recommended method of infant feeding in many developing countries to prevent diarrhea and other infections, but breastfeeding by women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been associated with mother-to-infant HIV transmission. In this study in Malawi of 672 infants who were born to women infected with HIV and who were uninfected with HIV at the first prenatal visit, Miotti and coworkers found that 47 became infected with HIV while breastfeeding. The risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission was highest in the first year of life and was associated with low maternal parity and young maternal age in a multivariate model. In an editorial, Fowler and coauthors point out that information needed to guide breastfeeding decisions by women in developing countries who are infected with HIV is limited.

See Article and editorial Article

Diabetes, Blood Glucose Levels, and Deciding to Drive

Individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus may decide to drive even in the presence of blood glucose levels that have been associated with impaired driving performance. Using data entered into handheld computers by individuals with type 1 diabetes whenever performing self blood glucose monitoring or experiencing symptoms of low blood glucose, Clarke and coworkers found that subjects stated they would drive 43% to 44% of the time when they estimated their blood glucose to be 3.3 to 3.9 mmol/L (60 to 70 mg/dL) and 38% to 47% of the time when their actual blood glucose level was less than 2.2 mmol/L (40 mg/dL).

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Psychiatric Sequelae of the Oklahoma City Bombing

The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 resulted in 167 deaths, and 684 individuals were injured. In this study of 182 adults from a registry of 1092 survivors directly exposed to the blast, conducted 4 to 8 months after the bombing, North and colleagues found that 82 individuals had a psychiatric disorder, 30 of whom had not had a psychiatric disorder prior to the bombing, and 62 individuals had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) specific to the bombing. Fewer survivors fulfilled PTSD Criterion Group C (at least 3 symptoms of avoidance and numbing as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) than the other PTSD criterion groups, but 94% of those meeting Criterion Group C also fulfilled full PTSD diagnostic criteria.

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A 69-Year-Old Man With Anger and Angina

Mr A is a 69-year-old man with a 27-year history of angina pectoris, whose episodes of chest pain are often triggered by anger or emotional upset. Williams discusses psychosocial factors associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease and behavioral and pharmacologic interventions.

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A Piece of My Mind

"He is calling. The man who never called on me before, who never called on anyone—for anything." From "Stroke."

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Medical News & Perspectives

The community status of hospital emergency departments is changing, often leading to a redesign that focuses on improved delivery of medical technology and expanded patient services.

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Users' Guides to the Medical Literature

How to appraise trials that use surrogate end points and apply the results to the clinical management of individual patients.

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A Journal's Name

In response to the ousting of New England Journal of Medicine editor Jerome Kassirer, Rennie comments on why the integrity of a medical journal's reputation is critical to its success.

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Controversies

Should data from trials based on surrogate end points be used in the approval process for drugs for the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors?

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JAMA Patient Page

For your patients: Safe driving for persons with diabetes mellitus.

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