Articles, Leading Stories

February 1st, 2016

Study will look at models of integration

By Rivkela Brodsky

A  University of Vermont-led team of researchers has received an $18.5 million grant to examine models for integrating behavioral care into the primary care setting. “There is a broad push from multiple sectors to integrate behavioral care into primary medical care,” said co-principle investigator Rodger Kessler, Ph.D., associate professor of family medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. “There is very little research to guide the elements of models that are most effective when one moves in that direction.” This five-year project will evaluate and compare two models: the most common model – co-locating a behavioral health clinician [More]

February 1st, 2016

APA report provides workforce data

By Rivkela Brodsky

The field of psychology remains a steady one, with Baby Boomer and Echo Boomer generations making up most of the industry, while the gender gap continues to widen and more ethnic and racial minorities enter the field. That’s according to a recent American Psychological Association workforce report on the industry based on U.S. Census American Community Survey data from 2005-2013. “Overall, we found that there are more women in the workforce, which is a trend that we’ve been seeing for quite some time,” said Karen Stamm, Ph.D., senior research officer at the APA’s Center for Workforce Studies and co-author of [More]

February 1st, 2016

Study: Altruism is good for mental health

By Susan Gonsalves

Helping someone else can be good for your mental health. A study, recently published in Clinical Psychological Science, concluded that doing small acts for others such as holding open a door or giving directions to strangers or acquaintances helps to decrease stress. Study author Emily Ansell, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, explained that the research involved people using their smartphone to record their daily feelings and experiences. Ansell said that the benefits of social support for stress are well documented. Less clear, she said, is whether everyday acts of social interaction can improve mood [More]

February 1st, 2016

Psychologist weighs in on the state of relationships

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Tis the season of love…and marriage…and, for more than 40 percent of Americans, ultimately divorce. But that does not have to be the result for couples struggling to keep the love alive. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter spoke with Charles Wolfson, Ph.D., who has spent 30 years in a private practice in Westborough, Mass., working with couples going through rough patches. While they don’t all pull through, he has found that, for most people, fixing a bad marriage is an attainable goal. Q:  So, this being February, we thought we would talk about love and how to stay together [More]

January 1st, 2016

Trauma therapy puts yoga into practice

By Phyllis Hanlon

According to the 2012 Yoga in America study, approximately 20.4 million Americans practice yoga for a variety of reasons including increased flexibility, general conditioning, physical fitness, overall health benefits and stress relief. Recent research has demonstrated yoga can be an effective complementary therapy to psychological intervention. Thirteen years ago, David Emerson, E-RYT, director of Yoga Services at The Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute (JRI), created trauma sensitive yoga (TSY) as an adjunctive treatment for those who have suffered chronic childhood physical and/or sexual abuse and neglect. He explained that parts of the brain that connect awareness to the [More]

January 1st, 2016

Massachusetts rolls out new prior authorization forms

By Janine Weisman

Massachusetts commercial health insurance plans must accept new standard prior authorization forms for behavioral health services as early as Feb. 1 to comply with a mandate in the state’s 2012 health care reform law. Providers fill out such forms to supply information needed by insured health plans to make decisions about covering requested services or procedures. Nearly all psychological and neuropsychological assessments require prior authorization. Submitting forms is a time-consuming and often frustrating task for providers who may find themselves dealing with many different insurance companies, all with their own unique sets of questions. Often, there are follow up questions. [More]

January 1st, 2016

Report offers snapshot of health care services, gaps in Rhode Island

By Janine Weisman

The number of primary care physicians in Rhode Island is not enough to meet national standards for adequate access to care and is 40 percent less than previously estimated, according to a new comprehensive health care survey initiative from the Rhode Island Department of Health. There are 803 primary care physicians but 602.7 total full-time equivalents in calendar year 2014, as reported in the RIDOH 2015 Statewide Health Inventory released in mid-November. That number has essentially one primary care full-time equivalent for every 1,718.1 Rhode Islanders. While the report assesses the number of primary care physicians and found modest levels [More]

January 1st, 2016

Study evaluates drug, alcohol use and related conditions

By Pamela Berard

A  recent study found that about 10 percent of Americans met the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for drug use disorder at some point in their lives and about four percent of Americans met the criteria in the past year. The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, also demonstrated high comorbidity and that the majority of those who met the criteria never received treatment. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, was led by Bridget Grant, Ph.D., Ph.D., (doctorates in psychology and epidemiology), [More]

January 1st, 2016

Report: one in 45 children has autism spectrum disorder

By Rivkela Brodsky

A new report using 2014 data suggests that one in 45 children aged 3-17 has autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. That number is up from one in 80 children in 2011-2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics Nov. 13 report. A big reason for the increase is a change in the way researchers asked parents questions about their children having autism. “We believe this increase we saw from previous years of the National Health Interview Survey was the result of three changes we made to the survey in between those years,” [More]

January 1st, 2016

Researchers tackle issue of male abuse victims

By Catherine Robertson Souter

There is probably no greater stigma affecting the world of psychology than the one that surrounds male victims of domestic violence. From being accused by support hotlines of being the perpetrator to being harassed by the police when they call for help to a general response of “Why would a guy let a woman hit him?” male victims face immense hurdles. What is most shocking, according to Denise A. Hines, Ph.D., associate research professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., is not so much the stigma faced or the lack of help available but the high prevalence of the problem. [More]

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