Articles, Leading Stories

December 1st, 2016

Clinicians help adults with ADHD

By Phyllis Hanlon

Attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactive disorder is most often associated with young children and adolescents. But symptoms that manifest in childhood sometimes persist into adulthood and, in other cases, signs first initiate well past the early years. The Anxiety and Depression Society of America reports that approximately 60 percent of children with ADHD in the United States carry the diagnosis into adulthood; that amounts to four percent or eight million adults. Fewer than 20 percent of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or treated, according to the Society. David D. Nowell, Ph.D., private practitioner with offices in Worcester, [More]

December 1st, 2016

MPA sets legislative agenda

By Janine Weisman

Anti-clawback legislation, telehealth parity and protecting continuity of care will be the top three priorities for the Massachusetts Psychological Association when the next session of the State Legislature begins Jan. 4, 2017. Legislative sessions run for two years in Massachusetts. At the beginning of each new session, legislators file bills to be considered during that session. Each session sees an estimated 6,000 bills filed in the House of Representatives and 2,000 in the Senate. All bills must be filed by mid-January. “We’re kind of starting with a clean slate in each January of an odd numbered year,” MPA Executive Director [More]

December 1st, 2016

Initiative brings services to young children with trauma

By Pamela Berard

A new grant will help bridge a gap for services to very young children in Connecticut suffering from exposure to trauma. The Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI) was awarded a five-year, $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand services to young children in Connecticut suffering from exposure to trauma, including violence, abuse, chronic neglect, loss of a family member, serious accidents and illness. The grant will fund the Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative initiative. Led by CHDI, the collaborative will partner with the Office of Early Childhood, the Department of Children and Families, [More]

December 1st, 2016

Program helps military families cope with alcohol abuse

By Rivkela Brodsky

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., are in year three of a four-year grant to study and provide military couples with alcohol and relationship counseling. “We took an alcohol couple behavioral therapy treatment model that we developed at Rutgers [University] over 25 years with civilian samples and got funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to adapt it for military families,” said Elizabeth Epstein, Ph.D., psychologist, and professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is a principal investigator of the study along with David Smelson, Psy.D., psychologist and [More]

December 1st, 2016

Diabetes: Research shows increased risk for mental health issues

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014, diabetes affected approximately 29.1 million people or 9.3 percent of the United States population. Additionally, another 86 million Americans suffer with pre-diabetes, a condition that increases the risk of developing diabetes. While the condition imposes some medical challenges, it has also been found to cause psychological difficulties, according to some researchers. Julie Wagner, Ph.D., professor of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health at UConn Health, was part of a team that examined the “psychological conditions, defined as syndromes, disorders and diabetes-specific psychological issues” that impact a significant portion of individuals [More]

December 1st, 2016

Psychologist helps families cope with childhood illnesses

By Catherine Robertson Souter

When a child has medical issues complicated by psychological ones, a family may find themselves with limited skills to cope with an escalating situation. A serious affliction like chronic pain, diabetes, asthma, or seizures can be terrifying to both the child and to the adults trying to support him and, for many families, the illness, when accompanied by setbacks in treatment because of emotional problems, can become overwhelming. Jack Nassau, Ph.D., chief psychologist at the Hasbro Children’s Partial Hospital Program at Rhode Island Hospital, has spent his career in researching and working in pediatric psychology. As part of a multidisciplinary [More]

November 1st, 2016

Treating responders: a shift in technique

By Phyllis Hanlon

The devastation that occurred on 9/11 shook the entire world. But since that time, numerous other traumatic events – the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the San Bernardino shooting, the Orlando nightclub attack, to name a few – have reinforced the importance of addressing psychological damage resulting from these incidents. In response to the growing need, clinicians have shifted their thinking when it comes to treating first responders. Joan M. Cook, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Yale, and current president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 56, Trauma Psychology, noted that events such as the Vietnam War, “put [More]

November 1st, 2016

MPA advocates lifting gun research funding ban

By Janine Weisman

A move by the Massachusetts Psychological Association to push for the removal of barriers on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ability to fund research on gun violence is inspiring the region’s other associations to pursue advocacy efforts on the issue. In an Aug. 30 letter sent to Massachusetts’ nine representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives and two U.S. senators, the leadership of the 1,600-member association voiced strong support for finding legislative solutions to what amounts to a ban on funding gun violence research. The letter was signed by MPA President Dawn Cisewski, Psy.D., Executive Director Brian [More]

November 1st, 2016

Maine law places restrictions on opioid prescriptions

By Pamela Berard

Echoing a nation-wide problem, Maine is working to stem the rise of opioid use and overdose. Maine reported more than 270 drug overdose deaths in 2015 – a 31 percent increase over 2014 – and had already recorded 189 drug overdose deaths for the first half of 2016. A majority have been linked to opioids – which include heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers. A new state law enacted in July aims to prevent the overuse of opioids at the initiation of treatment. The law requires doctors to use the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) and sets a dosage cap on [More]

November 1st, 2016

Massachusetts extends deadline for EHR adoption

By Janine Weisman

Massachusetts behavioral health care providers have more time to fully adopt electronic health record systems (EHR) that connect to the state’s health information exchange via a network called the Mass HIway. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services recently announced that the date to connect to the statewide network for transmitting health care data among providers, hospitals and other entities and improve coordination of care would be a date later than Jan. 1, 2018. The original deadline for all health care providers to fully implement interoperable EHR systems connecting to the Mass HIway was Jan. 1, 2017, in [More]

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