In reviewing an email of recently published articles at JAMA Surgery, I was pleased to see two pieces in particular. The first was a systematic review of quality-of-life outcomes in surgical versus non-surgical treatment for breast cancer. The other was a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial for appendicitis that looked at quality of life and patient satisfaction seven years after patients received either antibiotic therapy or an appendectomy.
I was glad to see these because the entire focus of both studies is on quality of life, an outcome neglected for far too long in medical research. More studies are focusing on quality of life, but still not enough. In fact, I would argue that every single study done on interventions for a medical issue should include at least some sort of secondary endpoint related to quality of life that is separate from cataloging adverse events. Continue reading
Photo: Tomi via Flickr
What do we mean by healthy longevity and how do we achieve it? That is the focus of the Global Grand Challenge, a multi-million dollar competition to accelerate improvements and innovation in healthy longevity. In a new tip sheet, Janice Lynch Schuster highlights initial efforts by policymakers, practitioners and academics from around the world to come together, share their expertise, and diverse ideas to address their respective aging populations. Continue reading
Cancer diagnosis and care are complex. When comorbid conditions, multiple medications, changing physiology and decreasing resilience are involved, they present further challenges for many patients and their cancer specialists. How can they treat a serious disease while minimizing the risk of mortality, side effects, and diminished quality of life?
The good news is that people generally are living longer. The downside is that with increased longevity comes increased odds of developing various forms of cancer. Continue reading
Immobility in old age can decrease independence and quality of life, as well as increase the risk of falls and chronic disease. Studies such as Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE), a large multicenter randomized controlled trial, have shown that regular structured physical activity can reduce mobility loss in older adults.
Do these types of programs work as well in real-world environments as well as controlled conditions?