National Academy of Medicine

NASEM Publications Round-Up: May 2017

June 05, 2017

Browse all health-related publications released by the National Academies in April 2017 below. To receive updates from the NAM, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Reports document the evidence-based consensus of an authoring committee of experts. Proceedings chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other convening event. Perspectives are individually-authored expert commentaries and discussion papers from leading voices in health and health care.


The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

May 9, 2017 | NASEM Report 

With support from the Social Security Administration, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an ad hoc, expert committee to provide an analysis of the use in adults of selected assistive products and technologies, within four categories including, wheeled and seated mobility devices, upper-extremity prostheses, hearing devices, and communication and speech technologies. In The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation, the committee describes the range of available products and technologies in each of these categories and examines how they may mitigate the effects of impairments and the extent to which they may help enable people with disabilities to enter or return to the workforce.

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Training the Future Child Health Care Workforce to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes of Children, Youth, and Families

May 12, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop in Brief

Childhood diagnoses of cognitive, affective, and behavioral disorders are increasing in both absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total childhood population in the United States, and they are imposing a large and growing burden on children, youth, and families.  However, the adoption of evidence-based interventions that have proven effective in preventing and treating behavioral health disorders in children has been slow. A contributing factor for this slow adoption may be that current training in many fields involving the behavioral health of children is falling short of meeting needs.

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Global Health and the Future Role of the United States

May 15, 2017 | NASEM Report 

The United States has long been a leader in global health. Yet resources are not unlimited, and the case for continued commitment must be made. With support from a broad array of federal agencies, foundations, and private partners, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an ad hoc committee to identify global health priorities in light of current and emerging global health threats and challenges. In the resulting report, Global Health and the Future Role of the United States, the committee provides recommendations to the U.S. government and other stakeholders for increasing responsiveness, coordination, and efficiency in addressing these threats and challenges by establishing priorities and mobilizing resources.

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Communicating Clearly About Medicines

May 16, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop in Brief

he Roundtable on Health Literacy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop on communicating clearly about medicines. The workshop focused on the clarity of written information given to patients and consumers as printed or digital materials. The workshop was organized around presentations and panel discussions that explored the design of health-literate written materials and examples that illustrated implementation of research into the development of these materials. The workshop rapporteurs in brief have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of the session discussions.

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Developing Affordable and Accessible Community-Based Housing for Vulnerable Adults

May 17, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop

Accessible and affordable housing can enable community living, maximize independence, and promote health for vulnerable populations. However, the United States faces a shortage of affordable and accessible housing for vulnerable low-income older adults and individuals living with disabilities. This shortage is expected to grow over the coming years given the population shifts leading to greater numbers of older adults and of individuals living with disabilities.

To better understand the importance of affordable and accessible housing for older adults and adults with disabilities, the barriers to providing this housing, the design principles for making housing accessible for these individuals, and the features of programs and policies that successfully provide affordable and accessible housing that supports community living for older adults and people with disabilities, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with support from a group of sponsors, convened a public workshop on December 12, 2016, in Washington, DC.

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Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging

May 18, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop

More than 46 million people over the age of 65 years were living in the United States in 2014 and more than 70 million are predicted by 2060. Education, living arrangements, and other demographic characteristics of this older population are changing, with noted variability by sex and race/ethnicity. Health status indicators, including life expectancy and heart disease death rates, have shown improvement, as have economic indicators. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food Forum convened a workshop with five objectives: to examine trends and patterns in aging and factors related to healthy aging in the United States with a focus on nutrition; to examine how nutrition can sustain and promote healthy aging, not only in late adulthood, but beginning in pregnancy and early childhood and extending throughout the lifespan; to highlight the role of nutrition in the aging process at various stages in life; to discuss changes in organ systems over the lifespan, including the skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems, and changes that occur with age related to cognitive, brain, and mental health; diet-related sensory preferences; oral health; and the microbiome; and to explore opportunities to move forward in promoting healthy aging in the United States.

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Multisector Community Health Partnerships: Potential Opportunities and Challenges

May 19, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop in Brief

On December 8, 2016, the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a public workshop, Exploring the Infrastructure of Multisector Community Health Partnerships. At this workshop, participants explored multisector community health partnerships that aim to address inequities and improve the health and well-being of communities. Individual participants discussed different strategies used by community partnerships to engage residents in community health initiatives. This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief is intended to highlight topics that individual speakers identified as opportunities and challenges to engaging a range of residents and other stakeholders in community-driven social change. The workshop rapporteur has prepared these proceedings as a factual summation of the session discussions.

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Cancer Care in Low-Resource Areas: Cancer Treatment, Palliative Care, and Survivorship Care

May 23, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop 

Though cancer was once considered to be a problem primarily in wealthy nations, low- and middle-income countries now bear a majority share of the global cancer burden. Disparities in cancer outcomes also exist in high-income countries—communities within wealthier nations can experience worse cancer outcomes, especially if they have challenges in accessing cancer prevention and cancer care services.

Recognizing the challenges of providing cancer care in resource constrained settings, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine developed a two-workshop series examining cancer care in low-resource communities. The first workshop, held in 2015, focused on cancer prevention and early detection. The second workshop, held November 14-15, 2016, focused on the delivery of cancer treatment, palliative care, and survivorship care. This is a summary of the second workshop, which featured invited presentations and panel discussions on the challenges of providing cancer care in low-resource areas and potential strategies to improve cancer care in low- and middle-income countries and in low-resource areas in the United States.

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Cardiovascular Disease Starts in Childhood

May 26, 2017 | NAM Perspective 

The importance of good nutrition practices on health and well-being has been recognized for thousands of years. One familiar quote attributed to Hippocrates, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” illustrates our long-time appreciation of the important relationship between diet and health. Hippocrates is also recognized for his seminal philosophy about the importance of lifestyle behaviors for good health, as conveyed in the quote: “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” More recently, two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling extoled the virtues of a healthy diet, stating, “Good nutrition will prevent 95 percent of all diseases.” Despite this long-held recognition about the importance of good nutrition and lifestyle practices, we are confronted with an epidemic of nutrition- and lifestyle-related diseases that have created a huge burden on society.

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Standardized Screening for Health-Related Social Needs in Clinical Settings: The Accountable Health Communities Screening Tool

May 31, 2017 | NAM Perspective 

The impacts of unmet health-related social needs, such as homelessness, inconsistent access to food, and exposure to violence on health and health care utilization, are well-established. Growing evidence indicates that addressing these and other needs can help reverse their damaging health effects, but screening for social needs is not yet standard clinical practice. In many communities, the absence of established pathways and infrastructure and perceptions of inadequate time to make community referrals are barriers that seem to often keep clinicians and their staff from broaching the topic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Accountable Health Communities Model, tested by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, addresses this critical gap between clinical care and community services in the current health care delivery system by testing whether systematically identifying and addressing the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries impacts their total health care costs and improves health.

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