Psychiatric Times Vol 16 No 2

Chavez Warns of Declining Mental Health Resources

February 01, 1999

Warning of declining resources for mental health, Nelba Chavez, Ph.D., administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), said mental health must become a top priority in public policy, health care services and coverage, training of health care professionals and community education.

Commentary: Kevorkian on Trial

February 01, 1999

Putting Kevorkian on trial is not the same as developing a rational health care policy for those who are terminally ill. Kevorkian needs to be checked, but too much significance should not be given to his case. Our concern with the care for those who are seriously or terminally ill is too important to relegate to the trial of someone who is so narrowly fixed on being the instrument of his own death or that of others.

The Politics of Health Care Can the APA Make a Difference?

February 01, 1999

The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996-the long sought after federal law that was supposed to discourage health benefits discrimination against the mentally ill-was described as having "failed" to achieve parity because insurers and employers take advantage of loopholes. Despite the critical nature of the report, however, no one from the American Psychiatric Association, not a single psychiatrist for that matter, is quoted in the article.

National Center for Alternative Medicine Established

February 01, 1999

A physician asks, via the Internet, for help in locating a resource to evaluate possible interactions between herbal remedies and Western medications. A Stanford researcher surveys 1,035 randomly selected people and reports that 40% of them have used such alternative health care as chiropractic, acupuncture or homeopathy during the past year (Astin, 1998). A survey of U.S. medical schools indicates nearly two-thirds of those responding (64%) now offer courses that include alternative medicine (Wetzel et al., 1998).

Scientific Assessment of Alternative Medicine

February 01, 1999

Alternative medicine was the theme of this issue of JAMA and in each of the other nine American Medical Association journals published in November. The editors of these scientific journals made an effort to provide physicians and other health care professionals with clinically relevant, reliable, fresh scientific information on alternative therapies.

Biofeedback and Anxiety

February 01, 1999

Considered a "fringe" therapy 25 years ago, biofeedback has matured today to a modality much closer to mainstream treatment. Its value is accepted by a growing number of professionals, and it is covered by Medicare for some conditions, as well as by most health insurers.

Culture and Eating Disorders

February 01, 1999

Culture has been identified as one of the etiological factors leading to the development of eating disorders. Rates of these disorders appear to vary among different cultures and to change across time as cultures evolve. Additionally, eating disorders appear to be more widespread among contemporary cultural groups than was previously believed.

Therapeutic Aspects of the Human-Companion Animal Interaction

February 01, 1999

Although the majority of American households includes a pet, it is only recently that we have begun to explore the relationship between people and their pets and the possible physical and emotional benefits of that relationship.