TV medical information
Watching "ER" can make you "smarter," but only temporarily.
That's essentially the finding of a study that looked at the NBC-TV drama series in terms of the impact of its medical story lines on viewers' knowledge about a variety of health topics.
The analysis, presented in the January/February issue of Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal published by Bethesda, Md.-based Project Hope, is drawn from data gathered over several years in random surveys of 3,500 regular viewers of the show before or after the airing of programs.
Researchers said the surveys revealed that "ER" viewers who differ significantly from the general population only in that they are more likely to be female found the medical information presented on the show useful in a variety of ways.
The bad news, at least for those who see television as a potential vehicle for disseminating useful information disguised as entertainment to a mass audience, is that the information isn't retained.
Health Foundation grant deadline is nearing
Wichita The Kansas Health Foundation is taking applications for its Recognition Grant Program. The grants are designed to support grass-root organizations promoting health in Kansas.
The money is awarded based on a number of criteria, including creativity, and winners are selected by a panel of experts from different geographic regions of the state.
Applications are due March 15. For more information, call the foundation at (316) 262-7676 or (800) 373-7681 or visit its Web site at www.kansashealth.org.
The computer disease
Over the past decade, carpal tunnel syndrome has been on the rise, largely a result of the proliferation of personal computers and the demand for repetitive movement by the wrist demanded by this new technology.
While the initial signs of CTS include a tingling in one or both of the hands at night, often painful enough to disturb sleep, in more advanced cases the tingling extends into the daytime hours and some patients may lose feeling in the thumb, index and ring fingers. A decreased ability to squeeze objects may follow.
For a more thorough understanding of CTS and the various modes of treatment, go to www.sechrest.com/mmg/reflib/ctd.html.
ADHD: not only for children
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a condition often diagnosed in children also affects adults, according to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).
Adults who often make seemingly careless mistakes at work, can't seem to listen, have a hard time organizing tasks, talk too much or often lose things might be suffering from the disorder, according to the group, which says symptoms in adults may be obscured by problems in relationships, substance abuse and psychological or employment difficulties.
For more information about adult ADHD, see CHADD's Web site at www.chadd.org/facts/addfacts07.htm or call (800) 233-4050.