Infants' Faces Evoke Species-Specific Patterns Of Brain Activity In Adults - Evidence Of Basis For Caregiving Impulse
Distinct patterns of activity - which may indicate a predisposition to care for infants - appear in the brains of adults who view an image of an infant face - even when the child is not theirs, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Seeing images of infant faces appeared to activate in the adult's brains circuits that reflect preparation for movement and speech as well as feelings of reward. The findings raise the possibility that studying this activity will yield insights into care giving behavior, but also in cases of child neglect or abuse. "These adults have no children of their own. Yet images of a baby's face triggered what we think might be a deeply embedded response to reach out and care for that child, " said senior author Marc H.
Veterans are almost twice as likely as the general public to have chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart failure. Therefore, veterans may require more assistance from informal caregivers, especially as outpatient treatment becomes more common. A University of Missouri researcher evaluated strain and satisfaction among informal caregivers of veterans with chronic illnesses. The findings show that more than one third of veterans' caregivers report high levels of strain as a result of taking care of their relatives; yet, on average, caregivers also report being satisfied with their caregiving responsibilities. Bonnie Wakefield, an associate research professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, says the majority of caregiving responsibilities belong to veterans' immediate family members, often their wives.
Married adults who undergo heart surgery are more than three times as likely as single people who have the same surgery to survive the next three months, a new study finds. "That's a dramatic difference in survival rates for single people, during the most critical post-operative recovery period, " says Ellen Idler, a sociologist at Emory University and lead author of the study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. "We found that marriage boosted survival whether the patient was a man or a woman." While the most striking difference in outcomes occurred during the first three months, the study showed that the strong protective effect of marriage continues for up to five years following coronary artery bypass surgery. Overall, the hazard of mortality is nearly twice as great for unmarried as it is for married patients about to undergo the surgery.
According to a study in the March issue of Advances in Nursing Science, the type of facility ownership can affect job insecurity and stability for nurses working in elder care facilities. Fair management and positive leadership can alleviate job insecurities amongst care staff for the elderly, and potentially improve the level of care elderly residents receive. Lead researchers, Tarja Heponiemi, PhD, of the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, and her team conducted a new survey that involved 1, 249 staff members at elder care facilities in Finland, with regard to their views on job insecurity and job stability. The team compared the findings, categorizing staff according to the different types of facilities and various types of ownership. They noted that the majority of care staff worked at "sheltered care" facilities, where residents generally have a private room or apartment and receive meals and other services as needed.
Alternative therapies for dementia patients need to be researched and applied more consistently if they are to help care organisations improve the well-being of patients and reduce the number of antipsychotic drugs prescribed. Research published today (Wednesday 15 February 2012) by a team at the Universities of Hull and Maastricht highlights a pressing need for more comprehensive research into the Government's recommended method of an alternative treatment, known as functional or behavioural analysis. Entitled "Function analysis-based interventions for challenging behaviour in dementia", the study is published in The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 2. It focuses on functional, or behaviour, analysis, an approach to dementia care recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in its guidelines on supporting people with dementia and their carers.