Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Technology, UCSD / 01.05.2023 Interview with: Zechariah Zhu, B.S. Affiliate Scientist with the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego and study co-author First author: John W. Ayers, PhD, MA What is the background for this study? Response: In today’s day and age (especially after the COVID-19 pandemic), an increasing number of people are turning to virtual options for healthcare. Most notably, there was a 1.6-fold increase in electronic patient messages, which significantly increased the burden on physicians, with a record-high proportion of physicians (62%) reporting burnout symptoms. On the other hand, we also see the rise of AI technologies like ChatGPT—an AI chatbot assistant that has taken the world by storm recently with its ability to provide lengthy response essays to many questions it is asked. Our objective for this study, then, was to evaluate the ability of ChatGPT to provide quality and empathetic responses to patient questions. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA / 14.12.2021 Interview with: Jan Willem van Dalen, PhD Department of Neurology Donders Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Cognition Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen Department of Neurology The Netherlands3Department of Public and Occupational Health Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam What is the background for this study? Response: Although high systolic blood pressure in midlife has consistently been reported as a condition that increases the risk of developing dementia in old age, reports regarding this relationship in older people have been inconsistent. One potential reason for this, is that the relationship between systolic blood pressure and dementia in later life may be U-shaped, meaning that both individuals with low and with high systolic blood pressure are at increased incident dementia risk. This study combined data from several longitudinal cohort studies specifically designed to study incident dementia in older people, to investigate whether these U-shaped relationships exist, and in which age ranges they appear. We included more than 16,500 people aged 60 and older, with over 2,700 incident dementia cases. Also, we aimed to investigate whether these observational associations might be caused by confounding, differences in mortality, or result from opposite relationships between certain subgroups of individuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, End of Life Care, JAMA / 03.10.2016 Interview with: Joshua R. Lakin, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dana Farber Cancer Institute What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Research has increasingly shown the benefits of early palliative care interventions, especially in those around communication about patient goals and preferences in serious illness. These benefits include improved quality of life and psychological outcomes for patients as well as eased bereavement and decision making for loved ones. We have a large gap to fill in initiating early goals and values conversations with our patients and there are a myriad of systems failures and clinician barriers that do not allow us to do this work in a timely and effective way. Doing so with limited resources, both in specialty palliative care and in the many frontline clinicians doing this work, requires targeting our resources carefully. Doing these conversations earlier means identifying patients upstream, before they are in the last days of life. The Surprise Question – “Would you be surprised if this patient died in the next year?” – has emerged as an attractive option for screening for early palliative care interventions. It has been studied primarily in dialysis and cancer patients and has been demonstrated to have a strong association with risk of death. We set out to test it in a more diverse primary care population. (more…)