Archive for the ‘professional societies’ Category

Retirees Underestimate Life Expectancy, Risk Underfunding Retirement

August 25, 2012 Comments off

Retirees Underestimate Life Expectancy, Risk Underfunding Retirement
Source: Society of Actuaries

With life expectancy rates on the rise, more than half of retirees and pre-retirees underestimate the age to which a person of his or her age and gender can expect to live, which can have significant implications on retirement planning, according to a new report from the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

This SOA highlights report released today illustrates findings on longevity from the “2011 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report,” such as approximately four in 10 underestimate their life expectancy by five or more years.

“Underestimation of life expectancy, combined with having too short of a planning horizon can result in inadequate funds for retirement needs,” said actuary and retirement expert Cindy Levering, ASA, MAAA, EA. “There is a general misunderstanding of what ‘average life expectancy’ means, and when people are told they will live to an age such as 80 or 85, they don’t realize that this means there is a 50 percent chance that they could live past that age.”

Hat tip: PW

Internal Medicine Physicians Recommend Principles on Role of Governments and Legislation in Regulating Patient-Physician Relationship

August 8, 2012 Comments off

Internal Medicine Physicians Recommend Principles on Role of Governments and Legislation in Regulating Patient-Physician Relationship

Source: American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released a paper, Statement of Principles on the Role of Governments in Regulating the Patient-Physician Relationship, which recommends principles for the role of federal and state governments in health care and the patient-physician relationship.

“The physician’s first and primary duty is to put the patient first,” David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of ACP, said. “To accomplish this duty, physicians and the medical profession have been granted by government a privileged position in society.”

Dr. Bronson noted, though, that “some recent laws and proposed legislation appear to inappropriately infringe on clinical medical practice and patient-physician relationships, crossing traditional boundaries and intruding into the realm of medical professionalism.”

Pointing to examples in ACP’s paper, he expressed concern about laws that interfere, or have the potential to interfere, with appropriate clinical practice by:

  • prohibiting physicians from discussing with or asking their patients about risk factors that may affect their health or the health of their families, as recommended by evidence-based guidelines of care;
  • requiring physicians to discuss specific practices that in the physician’s best clinical judgment are not individualized to the patient;
  • requiring physicians to provide diagnostic tests or medical interventions that are not supported by evidence or clinical relevance; or
  • limiting information that physicians can disclose to patients.

Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective

July 16, 2012 Comments off

Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective (PDF)
Source: American Meteorological Society (From NOAA and Met Office)

Using a variety of methodologies, six extreme events of the previous year are explained from a climate perspective.

International Sales Continue to Climb in U.S. Market, Realtors® Report

July 14, 2012 Comments off

International Sales Continue to Climb in U.S. Market, Realtors® Report
Source: National Association of Realtors®

Due to low prices and the relative weakness of the dollar, international buyers continue to identify the U.S. as a desirable place to own property and make a profitable investment.

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, total residential international sales in the U.S. for the past year ending March 2012 equaled $82.5 billion, up from $66.4 billion in 2011. Total international sales were evenly split between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants.

All Commercial Real Estate Sectors Continue to Improve, Multifamily Strong

May 31, 2012 Comments off

All Commercial Real Estate Sectors Continue to Improve, Multifamily Strong
Source: National Association of Realtors

Shaking off a prolonged impact from the recession, fundamentals are gradually improving in all of the major commercial real estate sectors, according to the National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast. The apartment rental sector has fully recovered and is growing.

The findings also are confirmed in NAR’s recent quarterly Commercial Real Estate Market Survey, which collects data from members about market activity.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said new jobs are the key. “Ongoing job creation, which is at a higher level this year, is fueling an underlying demand for commercial real estate space, assisted by a steady increase in consumer spending,” he said. “The pattern shows gradually declining commercial vacancy rates, with consequential but generally modest rent growth.”

Yun expects the economy to add 2 to 2.5 million jobs both this year and in 2013, on the heels of 1.7 million new jobs in 2011, assuming a new federal budget is passed before the end of the year. “Although we need even stronger job growth, by far the greatest impact of job creation is in multifamily housing, where newly formed households striking out on their own have increased demand for apartment rentals – this is the sector with the lowest vacancy rates and strongest rent growth, which is attracting many investors.”

Rising apartment rents also are having a positive impact on home sales because many long-time renters now view homeownership as a better long-term option, Yun noted.

Crossroads: The Psychology of Immigration in the 21st Century

May 3, 2012 Comments off
Source:  American Psychological Association
The United States today has approximately 39.9 million immigrants—the largest number in its history (Passel & Cohn, 2012; U.S. Census Bureau, 2011c). As a nation of immigrants, the United States has successfully negotiated larger proportions of newcomers in its past (14.7% in 1910 vs. 12.9% today) and is far from alone among postindustrial countries in experiencing a growth in immigration in recent decades. Notably, nearly three quarters of the foreign-born are naturalized citizens or authorized noncitizens (Congressional Budget Office [CBO], 2011). One in five persons currently residing in the United States is a first- or second-generation immigrant, and nearly a quarter of children under the age of 18 have an immigrant parent (Mather, 2009). As such, immigrants and the second generation have become a significant part of our national tapestry.
Just as this demographic transformation is rapidly unfolding, the United States is facing international, domestic, and economic crises (Massey, 2010). Like other historical economic downturns (Simon, 1985), the current recession has served as a catalyst to make immigration a divisive social and political issue (Massey & Sánchez, 2010). Across the nation, immigrants have become the subject of negative media coverage (Massey, 2010; M. Suárez-Orozco, Louie, & Suro, 2011), hate crimes (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, 2009), and exclusionary political legislation (Carter, Lawrence, & Morse, 2011). Given the demographic growth, however, we now face an “integration imperative” (Alba, Sloan, & Sperling, 2011)—not only for the well-being of this new population but also for that of the nation’s social and economic future.
Psychologists are, and increasingly will be, serving immigrant adults and their children in a variety of settings, including schools, community centers, clinics, and hospitals, and thus should be aware of this complex demographic transformation and consider its implications as citizens, practitioners, researchers, and faculty. This report aims specifically to describe this diverse population and address the psychological experience of immigration, considering factors that impede and facilitate adjustment. This report, which includes the recent theoretical and empirical literature on immigrants, (a) raises awareness about this growing (but poorly understood) population; (b) derives evidence-informed recommendations for the provision of psychological services for the immigrant-origin population; and (c) makes recommendations for the advancement of training, research, and policy efforts for immigrant children, adults, older adults, and families.

Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Electricity Infrastructure

April 28, 2012 Comments off

Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Electricity Infrastructure
Source: American Society of Civil Engineers

Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Electricity Infrastructure shows that an investment in our nation’s generation, transmission, and distribution systems can improve reliability, reduce congestion, and build the foundation for economic growth. Based on current investment trends, the national electricity infrastructure gap is estimated to be $107B by 2020, or just over $11B per year. By 2020, shortfalls in grid investments are expected to account for almost 90% of the investment gap with nearly $95B in additional dollars needed to modernize the grid.

Closing the electricity investment gap would lead to fewer brownouts and blackouts and save US businesses $126 billion, prevent the loss of 529,000 jobs and $656 billion in personal income losses for American families.

VA Gov. McDonnell: Aviation and Space Workforce Report Published

April 26, 2012 Comments off

VA Gov. McDonnell: Aviation and Space Workforce Report Published
Source: Southern Governors Association

Today Governor Bob McDonnell released the Aviation and Space Workforce Development Analysis and Strategy Development. The report highlights the aviation and space industries’ current employment levels and future projections for growth. According to the report, approximately 12,000 new employees will be required to fill positions that include airline pilots, aircraft mechanics and technicians, aerospace engineers, mechanical engineers, air traffic controllers and other technical jobs that require strong science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) skills.

“The goals of the report were to determine the current size and impact of the Commonwealth’s aviation and space industry, project industry growth, identify core workforce support entities and to isolate any gaps in the current workforce,” governor McDonnell said. “We plan to implement these recommendations leading Virginia in a direction to capture a greater share of the nation’s industry growth.”

Additional goals are to enhance interest in STEM-related careers by focusing on the educational pipeline and include secondary education, increase industry visibility through promotional and marketing efforts, develop a statewide strategic plan mentorship programs to transfer institutional knowledge from the senior generation to the younger generation of the workforce as well as place former military personnel with defense contractors.

Implementation of the recommendations will be executed as a joint effort between the Department of Aviation, the Virginia Department of Education, and aviation and space industry partners. The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Community College System identified several existing programs that support the recommendations and provided guidance on developing programs that strengthen STEM-related skills.

The report was commissioned through the collaboration of the working group-Working Smarter Alliance-which consisted of industry partners including the Office of the Secretary of Education, NASA Langley Research Center, the National Association of Manufacturers Institute and the Federal Aviation Administration.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Physicians Call for Improvements to Country’s Public Health System to Protect U.S. Residents

April 25, 2012 Comments off

Physicians Call for Improvements to Country’s Public Health System to Protect U.S. Residents
Source: American College of Physicians

A call for an improved public health infrastructure that works collaboratively with physicians in order to ensure the public’s safety and health was made today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The action was highlighted by the release of a new policy paper, Strengthening the Public Health Infrastructure, at Internal Medicine 2012, ACP’s annual scientific meeting in New Orleans.

“This paper points out that strengthening the public health infrastructure is imperative to ensure that the appropriate health care services are available to meet the population’s health care needs and to respond to public health emergencies,” said Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, MACP, president of ACP. “A strong public health infrastructure provides the capacity to prepare for and respond to both acute and chronic threats to the nation’s health, yet ill-advised budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels pose a grave threat to the health of U.S. residents.”

ACP’s paper makes the case for adequate investments in public health, which is the practice of preventing diseases and promoting good health within groups of people. Public health depends on an underlying foundation, or infrastructure, to support the planning, delivery, and evaluation of public health activities and practices. Public health works to protect and improve the health of communities through education, policy development, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research. It concentrates on the health of the population, rather than care of the individual patient, although these are becoming more intertwined as non-communicable diseases are becoming a priority focus for both population and patient-directed care.

The paper calls for adequate funding for the public health infrastructure, but recognizes that the tight budget environment requires that funding be prioritized. It makes the case that the consequences of underfunding essential and effective programs that prevent diseases and promote good health within groups of people would be an unwise, and ultimately very costly, use of limited resources. The paper recommends that funding priority be based on assessment of which programs have demonstrated effectiveness in achieving key public health objectives.

+ Full Document (PDF)

Survey: 4 out of 5 U.S. Bankruptcy Attorneys Report Major Jump in Student Loan Debtors Seeking Help, Fears Grow of Next Mortgage-Style Debt Threat to U.S.

April 20, 2012 Comments off
Source:  National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
The NACBA survey of 860 bankruptcy attorneys nationwide found that:
  • More than four out of five bankruptcy attorneys (81 percent) say that potential clients with student loan debt have increased “significantly” or “somewhat” in the last three-four years. Overall, about half (48 percent) of bankruptcy attorneys reported significant increases in such potential clients.
  • Nearly two out of five of bankruptcy attorneys (39 percent) have seen potential student loan client cases jump 25-50 percent in the last three-four years. An additional quarter (23 percent) of bankruptcy attorneys have seen such cases jump by 50 percent to more than 100 percent.
  • Most bankruptcy attorneys (95 percent) report that few student loan debtors are seen as having any chance of obtaining a discharge as a result of undue hardship.

+ Full Report (PDF)

American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults

April 19, 2012 Comments off

American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults (PDF)

Source:  American Geriatrics Society
Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) continue to be prescribed and used as first-line treatment for the most vulnerable of older adults, despite evidence of poor outcomes from the use of PIMs in older adults. PIMs now form an integral part of policy and practice and are incorporated into several quality measures. The specific aim of this project was to update the previous Beers Criteria using a comprehensive, systematic review and grading of the evidence on drug-related problems and adverse drug events (ADEs) in older adults. This was accomplished through the support of The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and the work of an interdisciplinary panel of 11 experts in geriatric care and pharmacotherapy who applied a modi- fied Delphi method to the systematic review and grading to reach consensus on the updated 2012 AGS Beers Criteria. Fifty-three medications or medication classes encompass the final updated Criteria, which are divided into three categories: potentially inappropriate medications and classes to avoid in older adults, potentially inappropriate medications and classes to avoid in older adults with certain diseases and syndromes that the drugs listed can exacerbate, and finally medications to be used with caution in older adults. This update has much strength, including the use of an evidence-based approach using the Institute of Medicine standards and the development of a partnership to regularly update the Criteria. Thoughtful application of the Criteria will allow for (a) closer monitoring of drug use, (b) application of real-time e-prescribing and interventions to decrease ADEs in older adults, and (c) better patient outcomes.

New ASPS statistics show “chinplants” are fastest growing procedure

April 19, 2012 Comments off
Source:  American Society of Plastic Surgeons

New statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that chin augmentation is the fastest growing plastic surgery trend among all major demographics — a phenomenon which appears, in part, to be sparked by increased usage of video chat technology, an aging baby boomer population and a desire for success in the workplace.

Chin augmentation grew more than breast augmentation, Botox® and liposuction combined in 2011. The procedure skyrocketed in both women and men, as well as in all patients over the age of 20, with the largest increase seen in patients age 40 or older.

+ 2011 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report

AAUP — 2011-12 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession

April 12, 2012 Comments off

2011-12 Report on the Economic Status of the ProfessionSource: American Association of University Professors
From press release:

Officially, the Great Recession ended almost three years ago. Unfortunately for many, the improvements in the economics of higher education are barely noticeable. This academic year is the third in a historic low period for full-time faculty salaries, which failed to meet the rate of inflation again this year. Some who work in part-time faculty positions have justifiably criticized the lack of information about their situation, even as they have become the majority within the faculty. Our students are facing escalating tuition bills and student loan debt, and wondering what’s driving those increases. And the “Occupy” movement has drawn a new level of attention to the issue of income inequality, an issue the AAUP’s annual economic status report has taken up for many years in the context of colleges and universities.

A Very Slow Recovery: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2011–12, released today, is now available. The AAUP’s annual report has been an authoritative source of data on faculty salaries and compensation for decades.

In addition to listing average salary by faculty rank and gender at 1,250 colleges and universities, the report provides an important perspective on the economic challenges facing higher education.

2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report

April 9, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Blackbaud, NTEN and Common Knowledge
Blackbaud, NTEN and Common Knowledge just released the fourth annual 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report.
We learned a lot of things, but one prevailing theme stood out — despite limited budgets and staffing, nonprofits continue to find great value in their fast-growing social networks.
The report is packed with insights into how nonprofits are leveraging social networks as part of their marketing, communications and fundraising strategies. Have a look at the INFOGRAPHIC below then download the full report to learn more about important behaviors and trends.

+ Full Report

AVMA Collection: Canine aggression

April 5, 2012 Comments off

AVMA Collection: Canine aggression
Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

From e-mail:
The third collection in the Canine Behavior Series, Canine aggression, is now available online.

Aggressive behavior is the primary problem for which dog owners seek help from behavioral specialists. More than 1 million dog bites are reported annually in the United States, and, contrary to the expectation that bites are usually inflicted by free-roaming dogs, dogs owned by the family, neighbors, or friends of the victim inflict most bites.

Understanding how to properly identify and treat canine aggression can be crucial to the retention of affected dogs within their homes, as well as to the safety of their owners and family members. The Canine aggression collection will help you take advantage of the resources from the JAVMA for addressing aggression-related behavior problems in dogs.

April 2012 NACE Salary Survey — Starting Salaries for New College Graduates

April 3, 2012 Comments off

April 2012 NACE Salary Survey — Starting Salaries for New College Graduates (executive summary; PDF)Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

Overall, the average starting salary for a Class of 2012 graduate is $44,442—a 6.6 percent increase over the average salary reported for the Class of 2011 in the Winter 2012 Salary Survey report. However, much of that leap can be attributed to seasonal factors. A truer comparison can be made between median salaries for the Class of 2012 and 2011: As illustrated in Figure 1, the overall median salary for Class of 2012 grads is up 4.5 percent over the median posted for the Class of 2011. (Note: As salaries in this report have only been nominally adjusted for seasonality, this report uses median salaries—not average salaries—for comparison purposes.)

Full report available to NACE members.

A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members’ Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists

April 2, 2012 Comments off
Summary Points
  • The American Psychiatric Association (APA) instituted a financial conflict of interest disclosure policy for the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
  • The new disclosure policy has not been accompanied by a reduction in the financial conflicts of interest of DSM panel members.
  • Transparency alone cannot mitigate the potential for bias and is an insufficient solution for protecting the integrity of the revision process.
  • Gaps in APA’s disclosure policy are identified and recommendations for more stringent safeguards are offered.

Mental Health Care Treatment for Immigrants Needs Retooling According to Task Force

March 8, 2012 Comments off

Mental Health Care Treatment for Immigrants Needs Retooling According to Task Force
Source: American Psychological Association

The methods psychologists and other health-care providers are using to treat immigrants to the United States need to be better tailored to deal with their specific cultures and needs, according to a task force report released by the American Psychological Association.

The report of APA’s Presidential Task Force Report on Immigration presents a detailed look at America’s immigrant population and outlines how psychologists can address the needs of immigrants across domains of practice, research, education and policy.

“We have identified an urgent need in scientific research and clinical settings to consider the unique aspects of immigrant populations, particularly with regard to culture and language,” said task force Chair Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD.

Immigrants face psychological implications of racism, discrimination and racial profiling, while their expressions of distress vary across cultures, the report points out.

Most evidence-based psychological treatments currently used with immigrants are based on research performed with samples consisting of ethnic minorities rather than immigrants, according to the report.
Current psychological assessment tools, such as tests and batteries, often are not adapted to account for culture and language, it notes.

+ Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration: Executive Summary (PDF)

Frequent Residential Mobility and Young Children’s Well-being

March 8, 2012 Comments off

Frequent Residential Mobility and Young Children’s Well-being
Source: National Council on Family Relations

Families change residence for all sorts of reasons, both positive and negative – a new job, the addition or subtraction of family members (for example, the birth of a child, a young person’s departure for college, the dissolution of adult relationships, or the desire to be closer to friends or extended family). However, family moves inevitably disrupt some family routines, and can be a source of stress to both parents and children. For school-age children, a move may also be accompanied by a change in school – another important setting for children’s development. In this study, Child Trends examined a fairly select group – children younger than six who have experienced five or more moves (who we term “frequent movers”) – using nationally representative data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health.

Work-Focused Psychotherapy Can Help Employees Return to Work Sooner

March 4, 2012 Comments off

Work-Focused Psychotherapy Can Help Employees Return to Work Sooner
Source: American Psychological Association

Employees on sick leave with common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety fully returned to work sooner when therapy deals with work-related problems and how to get back on the job, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Employees who received this therapy and returned to work sooner did not suffer adverse effects and showed significant improvement in mental health over the course of one year, according to the article, published online in APA’s Journal of Occupational Health Psychology®.

“People with depression or anxiety may take a lot of sick leave to address their problems,” said the study’s lead author, Suzanne Lagerveld, of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). “However, focusing on how to return to work is not a standard part of therapy. This study shows that integrating return-to-work strategies into therapy leads to less time out of work with little to no compromise in people’s psychological well-being over the course of one year.”
The study, conducted in the Netherlands, followed 168 employees, of whom 60 percent were women, on sick leave due to psychological problems such as anxiety, adjustment disorder and minor depression. Seventy-nine employees from a variety of jobs received standard, evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, while the rest received cognitive-behavioral therapy that included a focus on work and the process of returning to work.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that people’s thoughts, rather than external factors such as people, situations or events, cause feelings and behaviors. Cognitive-behavioral therapists encourage their clients to change the way they think in order to feel better even if the situation does not change. Behavioral techniques such as gradual exposure to difficult situations are often used within cognitive-behavioral therapy.

+ Full Paper (PDF)


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