Quietmind Foundation and the team at Independence LED are teaming up to develop phototherapy solutions to assist the treatment and stop the spreading of the COVID-19 virus.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Berwyn, PA, March 16, 2020 – Independence LED Lighting (https://independenceled.com/) announces today its collaboration with the QuietMIND Foundation (https://www.quietmindfdn.org/), a public non-profit applied research foundation and integrative healthcare consulting practice to fast track development of low-cost, self-administered and easily deployed infrared (IR) phototherapy devices to enhance the immune system's ability to improve treatment outcomes and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The current proposed solutions are rooted in decades of phototherapy research demonstrating how infrared (IR) light wavelengths can be safely and easily delivered. Current studies now show this type of therapy can slow the influenza virus and thereby diminish symptom severity and improve cerebral blood flow and oxygenation (Pruitt, 2020). The “COVID-19 LED Phototherapy” is intended to boost immune system functioning for those who've already contracted COVID-19 while also developing methods to prevent the spread of infection. The effort is focused on fast-tracking basic science and applied clinical trials of devices that are safe, non-invasive and easily deployed for home-use. Such efforts would be running parallel to ongoing acute care and vaccine trials. The COVID-19 LED Phototherapy does not in any way reduce the need for the American public to practice currently recommended social distancing and isolation when necessary during this pandemic. COVID-19 LED Phototherapy differs from other available low level PBM devices, in that, the wavelength and other delivery parameters for this development are likely to focus on wavelengths above 800nm. The development team will collaborate closely with manufacturers and PBM researchers to optimize rapid scalable production and broad therapeutic impact.
COVID-19 LED Phototherapy – Patient treatment
Therapy can be administered via one or more of the following:
COVID-19 LED Clinical Phototherapy – Research and Development
The R&D effort will address optimization of phototherapy delivery in terms of:
4. Pulse rate/width
5. Dose response
8. Form factors for optimal treatment delivery, sustainability, and mass production/distribution.
In addition, we are strongly advocating using ultraviolet (UVC) LED light for sterilization as means to control viral contamination for surface cleaning at all treatment locations, as well as homes and businesses. People can safely return to work with this type of decontamination in place. The QMF development team will work to define the most cost-effective hand-held and pass through whole body systems.
COVID-19 LED Phototherapy – Intellectual Property
The development team has agreed to open-source the COVID-19 LED Phototherapy technology and partner with local and global LED manufacturers and relevant supply chain partners during the pandemic to reduce the increase of infections and limit casualties and long-term disability due to compromised pulmonary, cardiovascular and neurological functions. Independence LED Lighting’s CEO, is also the 2020 Chairman of the Leadership Council of the American LED Alliance (https://americanledalliance.com/), which will help serve as a catalyst to provide product specifications and increase the roll-out of these phototherapy technologies.
COVID-19 LED Phototherapy – Fast-track Funding
This initiative requires global, multi-site R&D and testing over the next weeks and through the month of April to help slow the infections and casualties of the pandemic. The development team is actively seeking $250,000, and the roll-out will then require added funding, which is expected to include joint public-private partnerships with organizations such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Health Service and WHO. Note: Funding support from a private foundation in New Jersey has already pledged $12,000, thank you!
"This is an all hands on deck effort. Since 2010, when we moved our LED manufacturing from Shenzhen, China to southeastern Pennsylvania we have focused on a range of LED applications including installations for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, US Navy hospital ships, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Durham Medical Center, and private sector accounts like Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We have also pioneered custom wavelength LEDs for advanced Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) for plant science. Now, we can apply our skills and focus to saving lives and positively affecting the growing economic crisis during this Coronavirus pandemic,” said Charlie Szoradi, CEO Independence LED Lighting, “We are now facing an unprecedented health challenge.
Our focus has been on integrating light therapy and neuroscience to identify specific properties of light and noninvasive methods to improve central nervous system activity that will enhance immune system functioning. We're forging strategic relationships with local companies and academic research institutions in Philadelphia, United Kingdom, and Canada to expedite R&D and fast track roll-out of safe, reliable, low-cost, self-administered therapies.” said Marvin Berman, President, QuietMIND Foundation.
Charlie Szoradi, CEO, Independence LED Lighting
Direct: 610-551-5224, Charlie@IndependenceLED.com
Marvin Berman, President, QuietMIND Foundation
Direct: 610-940-0488, info@Quietmindfdn.org
or click here: www.quietmindfdn.org/cosmetic-study-of-wrinkles.html
In a recent conversation with the wife of a man with moderately advanced dementia the issue of how to prevent wandering came up and I thought of 3 things that can be rather cheaply and easily deployed, the Ring doorbell and window alarm technology and the invisible fence for dogs.
The Ring device will alert someone by a signal on their phone and video feed indicating what's happening at a specific entry location. The devices are about $100 and there's no need for the monthly recording system unless you are not at home and then you can record activity at each location so if someone walks out you can see initially where they went. The video can then be immediately forwarded to the police regardless of where you are at the time of the alert.
I think that putting a shock collar and/or sound alarm on someone's ankle or around their knee would provide a moderately negative stimulus that could alert caregivers and maybe stop someone from crossing out of a property zone. If this were combined with a Ring-type device it might offer a chance to intervene before the person has wandered to where they could be injured or worse. Other Ring users can also be connected to allow for tracking someone's movements if they did leave the property. Neighbors can be alerted and coordination could be establshed with little effort and no expense.
This kind of intervention is obviously for when verbal interaction is not possible and where there is little or no recall or ability to process verbal instructions or make good judgments about personal safety and the management of impulses.
We will be seeing if we can get the company to support a clinical study of this approach to Ring use in neighborhoods where people with dementia are living and need to remain in their homes as long as possible.
We are now seeing the potential of a new biochemical treatment option for dementia that addresses the problem of neuroinflammation by blocking the chemicals in the gut that contribute to it's increase. This is a very important shift in thinking that supports the systemic model of what causes dementia and how best to treat the underlying systemic metabolic imbalances. What Quietmind has been doing with the combination of photobiomodulation, neurofeedback and functional medicine is to improve gut dysbiosis by normalizing the photosynthetic nature of how we produce and regulate energy. Near infrared light stimulates mitochondria to produce ATP and regulate the activation of a wide range of chemical processes that directly influence the gut-brain communication process while reducing neuroinflammation, blocking neurotoxin production (Ab42). The new biochemical treatment, sodium oligommerate, will help reduce the inflammatory response in the guy and there by preventing the release of toxic chemicals phenylalanine and isoleucine that are associated with people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
We will be following this closely and exploring ways to include this treatment model into our existing protocols.
Click here for description of this important research.
In what one would consider a 'common sense' study result, recent research has found support for the idea that doctors, not unlike most people, are more prone to make mistakes when they are depressed.
November 27, 2019
Association Between Physician Depressive Symptoms and Medical Errors
A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Karina Pereira-Lima, PhD1,2; Douglas A. Mata, MD, MPH3; Sonia R. Loureiro, PhD4; et alJosé A. Crippa, MD, PhD4; Lívia M. Bolsoni, MSc4; Srijan Sen, MD, PhD1
Author Affiliations Article Information
JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(11):e1916097. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16097
Key Points Español 中文 (Chinese)
Question What are the magnitude and direction of associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors?
Findings In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies involving 21 517 physicians, physicians with a positive screening for depression were highly likely to report medical errors. Examination of longitudinal studies demonstrated that the association between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors is bidirectional.
Meaning This study found that physician depressive symptoms were associated with medical errors, highlighting the relevance of physician well-being to health care quality and underscoring the need for systematic efforts to prevent or reduce depressive symptoms among physicians.
AbstractImportance Depression is highly prevalent among physicians and has been associated with increased risk of medical errors. However, questions regarding the magnitude and temporal direction of these associations remain open in recent literature.
Objective To provide summary relative risk (RR) estimates for the associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors.
Data Sources A systematic search of Embase, ERIC, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science was performed from database inception to December 31, 2018.
Study Selection Peer-reviewed empirical studies that reported on a valid measure of physician depressive symptoms associated with perceived or observed medical errors were included. No language restrictions were applied.
Data Extraction and Synthesis Study characteristics and RR estimates were extracted from each article. Estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Differences by study-level characteristics were estimated using subgroup meta-analysis and metaregression. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed.
Main Outcomes and Measures Relative risk estimates for the associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors.
Results In total, 11 studies involving 21 517 physicians were included. Data were extracted from 7 longitudinal studies (64%; with 5595 individuals) and 4 cross-sectional studies (36%; with 15 922 individuals). The overall RR for medical errors among physicians with a positive screening for depression was 1.95 (95% CI, 1.63-2.33), with high heterogeneity across the studies (χ2 = 49.91; P < .001; I2 = 82%; τ2 = 0.06). Among the variables assessed, study design explained the most heterogeneity across studies, with lower RR estimates associated with medical errors in longitudinal studies (RR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.43-1.84; χ2 = 5.77; P = .33; I2 = 13%; τ2 < 0.01) and higher RR estimates in cross-sectional studies (RR, 2.51; 95% CI, 2.20-2.83; χ2 = 5.44; P = .14; I2 = 45%; τ2 < 0.01). Similar to the results for the meta-analysis of physician depressive symptoms associated with subsequent medical errors, the meta-analysis of 4 longitudinal studies (involving 4462 individuals) found that medical errors associated with subsequent depressive symptoms had a pooled RR of 1.67 (95% CI, 1.48-1.87; χ2 = 1.85; P = .60; I2 = 0%; τ2 = 0), suggesting that the association between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors is bidirectional.
Conclusions and Relevance Results of this study suggest that physicians with a positive screening for depressive symptoms are at higher risk for medical errors. Further research is needed to evaluate whether interventions to reduce physician depressive symptoms could play a role in mitigating medical errors and thus improving physician well-being and patient care.
IntroductionMedical errors are a major source of patient harm. Studies estimate that, in the United States, as many as 98 000 to 251 000 hospitalized patients die each year as result of a preventable adverse event.1-4 In addition, medical errors are a major source of morbidity5 and account for billions of dollars in financial losses to health care systems every year.6-9
Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent among physicians,10,11 and several studies have investigated the associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors.12-16 Although most studies on physician depressive symptoms and medical errors have identified a substantial association, their results are not unanimous, and questions regarding the direction of these associations remain open in recent literature.17
Depressive symptoms have well-established clinical criteria, and a large body of work has demonstrated that depression is a preventable and treatable condition.18-20 Several studies with physicians have identified potential individual and work environment sources of interventions to prevent the development of depressive symptoms among these professionals,21-24 and although scarce, research on the efficacy of interventions to reduce depressive symptoms in physicians has shown positive results.25
Given that depression is preventable and treatable, a reliable estimate of the degree to which physicians with a positive screening for depression are at higher risk for medical errors would be useful. Such an estimate would inform public health decision-making on strategies to improve patient safety and physician well-being. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we investigated whether physician depressive symptoms were associated with medical errors. We also examined longitudinal studies to investigate the temporal associations between depressive symptoms and medical errors.
Search Strategy and Study EligibilityTwo of us (K.P.-L. and L.M.B.) independently identified cross-sectional and longitudinal studies published before December 31, 2018, that reported on the associations between physician depressive symptoms and perceived or objectively assessed medical errors. We systematically searched Embase, ERIC, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science. In addition, guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA),26 we screened the reference lists of the articles and corresponded with study investigators. The search strategy we used was initially designed by the corresponding author (K.P.-L.), and critical revisions and edits to this design were provided by a multiprofessional team of researchers with expertise in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses on physician depression (D.A.M., S.S.) and mental health (S.R.L., J.A.C., S.S.) research. The Ribeirão Preto Medical School Institutional Review Board deemed this study exempt from approval and informed consent because it collected and synthesized nonidentifiable data from previously published studies.
For the database searches, terms related to physicians and depressive symptoms were combined with terms related to medical errors, without language restriction; full details of the search strategy are provided in the eMethods in the Supplement. References identified from database searches were exported to EndNote (Clarivate Analytics). After removal of duplicates, full-text articles were obtained if their abstracts were considered to be eligible by at least 1 of us. Each full-text article was assessed independently for final inclusion in this systematic review and meta-analysis, and disagreements were resolved by consensus (we reached 97% overall agreement [113 of 116 articles; κ = 0.87]). Peer-reviewed studies that reported data on perceived or observed medical errors associated with a valid measure of depressive symptoms in practicing and resident physicians (ie, excluding medical students and other health care professionals) were included. Studies that involved both physicians and other health care professionals were included only if they provided separate data for physicians. To be included, studies did not have to consider the association between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors as their primary outcome of interest.
Data Extraction and Quality AssessmentTwo of us (K.P.-L., L.M.B.) independently extracted the following data from each article using a standardized study form: (1) study information, including geographic location, survey years, research design, sample size, percentage of respondents among eligible participants, and number of institutions included; (2) characteristics of participants, including mean age, percentage of women, specialties, and career level; and (3) outcomes, including depressive symptoms measure, medical errors question interval, method of medical errors assessment, and data for calculating effect size (eg, relative risk [RR], CIs, P values). The approach recommended by Zhang and Yu27 for converting adjusted odds ratio for RR was used for studies that reported only the results of logistic regression for the associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors. Corresponding authors were contacted at least twice when studies did not report enough data to compute the effect size. When studies involved the same population of physicians, only the most comprehensive articles (ie, including those with a greater number of participants or a longer follow-up period) were included.
The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using adapted criteria from the Cochrane Library guidelines.28 Studies were considered methodologically strong or weak on the basis of (1) study design (eg, longitudinal indicated strong; cross-sectional, weak), (2) sample size (≥200 participants indicated strong; <200 participants, weak), (3) ascertainment of depressive symptoms measure (sensitivity and specificity >75% indicated strong; sensitivity and specificity ≤75%, weak), (4) representativeness of the sample (≥2 institutions indicated strong; <2 institutions, weak), and (5) descriptive characteristics of participants (reported data on sex, age, specialties, and career level indicated strong; missing information on sex, age, specialties, or career level, weak). Cutoff scores for sample size, representativeness, and descriptive characteristics were based on thresholds used in previous meta-analyses on physician depression,10,11 whereas cutoff scores for ascertainment of depressive symptoms were based on well-established psychometric quality criteria for depression questionnaires.29 Disagreements regarding quality assessment scores for each individual study were resolved by consensus (with an overall agreement of 98%; κ = 0.96).
Statistical AnalysisRelative risk estimates of physician depressive symptoms associated with medical errors were calculated by pooling study-specific estimates using random-effects models with generic invariance method to incorporate the heterogeneity of the differences across the studies.
Between-study heterogeneity was measured using standard χ2 tests and I2 statistics (values <25% indicate low; 25%-75%, moderate; and >75%, considerable heterogeneity).30,31 Sensitivity analyses were performed by serially excluding each study to determine the implications of individual studies for the pooled RR estimates.
Results from studies grouped according to prespecified study-level characteristics were compared using stratified meta-analysis (for physician career level, specialties included, medical errors question interval, geographic region, depressive symptoms measure, and quality assessment indicators [ie, study design, sample size, ascertainment of the depressive symptoms measure, representativeness of the sample, and descriptive data]) or random-effects metaregression (for year of baseline survey and percentage of women).32,33 To gain insight into the direction of the association between depressive symptoms and medical errors, we calculated pooled RR estimates for longitudinal studies that reported (1) results of physician depressive symptoms associated with subsequent medical errors and (2) RR estimates of medical errors associated with subsequent physician depressive symptoms.
Bias secondary to small study effects was investigated using funnel plots and the Egger test.34,35 We used R, version 3.2.3 (R Project for Statistical Computing),36 with meta37 and metafor38 packages for all analyses. Statistical tests were 2-sided and used a significance threshold of P < .05.
Study CharacteristicsEleven studies involving a total of 21 517 physicians were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis (Figure 1). The characteristics of the included studies are summarized in the Table. A total of 7 studies (64%) were longitudinal (involving 5595 individuals)12-15,39,40,44 and 4 (36%) were cross-sectional (involving 15 922 individuals).16,41-43 Nine studies (82%) took place in the United States,12-16,40,42-44 1 (9%) in Japan,39 and 1 (9%) in South Korea.41 Eight studies (73%) included only training physicians (interns and/or residents),12-16,40,41,44 and 3 (27%) recruited physicians from any career level.39,42,43 Seven studies (64%) recruited physicians from multiple specialties,14,15,39-43 whereas 4 (36%) recruited physicians from a single specialty.12,13,16,44 Among these 4 studies, 1 focused on pediatric residents,12 1 on anesthesiology residents,16 and 2 on internal medicine residents.13,44 The median (interquartile range [IQR]) number of participants per study was 836 (2139). Five studies (46%) assessed depressive symptoms with the 2-item Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD-2) questionnaire13,41-44; 3 (27%) used the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)14,15,40; 2 (18%) used the Harvard National Depression Screening Day Scale (HANDS)12,16; and 1 (9%) used the 5-item World Health Organization Well-being Index (WHO-5).39 Sensitivity and specificity commonly reported for these depression instruments are available in eTable 1 in the Supplement.
All but 1 study12 (9%) used self-report measures of medical errors. Eight studies (73%) inquired about medical errors in the past 3 months,13-15,40-44 2 (18%) inquired about medical errors in the past year,16,39 and 1 (9%) actively surveyed medical errors in a 1-month interval.12 Assessment measures and definitions of medical errors adopted by individual studies are available in eTable 2 in the Supplement. Although most studies inquired about major or harmful medical errors,13-16,39,40,42-44 1 study (9%) inquired whether physicians were concerned about errors of any type,41 and 1 study (9%) trained a team of nurses and physicians to collect daily reports of all medication errors occurring on wards and to actively review all medical records and medication orders using structured data forms.12 When evaluated by the established quality assessment criteria, 6 studies (55%) were considered as methodologically strong on the basis of design12-15,39,40,44; 8 (73%), on the basis of sample size13-16,39,40,42,43; 5 (46%), on the basis of ascertainment of depressive symptoms measure12,14-16,40; 8 (73%), on the basis of representativeness of the sample12,14-16,39,40,42,43; and all, on the basis of descriptive characteristics of participants.12-16,39-44 Detailed quality indicators for each study are available in eTable 3 in the Supplement.
Of the 11 included studies, 1 (9%) was used only in the meta-analysis of medical errors associated with subsequent depressive symptoms.44 The reason for excluding this study from the other analyses is that a more recent article reported data on depressive symptoms associated with subsequent medical errors in a more comprehensive sample of physicians.13 Because the more recent study did not report data on medical errors associated with subsequent depressive symptoms, the previous study was included in this directionality meta-analysis and excluded from all other analyses to avoid overlapping data. The approach recommended by Zhang and Yu27 was used for computing RR estimates in 2 studies that reported associations of depressive symptoms and medical errors in the format of an odds ratio.13,44
Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Medical ErrorsMeta-analytic pooling of the associations between depressive symptoms and medical errors yielded a summary RR of 1.95 (95% CI, 1.63-2.33), with high heterogeneity across the studies (χ2 = 49.91; P < .001; I2 = 82%; τ2 = 0.06) (Figure 2). The sensitivity analysis, in which the meta-analysis was serially repeated after exclusion of each study, demonstrated that no individual study had an implication for the overall RR estimate of more than 0.12 points (these estimates varied from 1.85 [95% CI, 1.56-2.19] to 2.07 [95% CI, 1.77-2.43]) (eFigure 1 in the Supplement).
Direction of the AssociationsAll of the 7 longitudinal studies included in the present review investigated the association of physician depressive symptoms in the next 1,12 3,13-15,40,44 or 12 months.39 One study44 was removed from the first directionality analysis because a later publication, which included a more comprehensive sample, also reported on data regarding depressive symptoms associated with subsequent medical errors.13 Meta-analytic pooling of physician depression associated with medical errors resulted in a pooled RR of 1.62 (95% CI, 1.43-1.84), with low heterogeneity across studies (χ2 = 5.77; P = .33; I2 = 13%; τ2 < 0.01) (Figure 3).
Similarly, 4 of the 7 longitudinal studies provided data on medical errors associated with depressive symptoms in the next 3 months.14,15,40,44 Meta-analytic pooling of these 4 studies (involving 4462 physicians) resulted in a summary RR of 1.67 (95% CI, 1.48-1.87), with low heterogeneity across studies (χ2 = 1.85; P = .60; I2 = 0%; τ2 = 0), suggesting that the association between physician depression and medical errors is bidirectional (Figure 3).
Associations Stratified by Study-Level CharacteristicsTo identify potential sources of heterogeneity, we performed subgroup meta-analysis of studies stratified by different study-level characteristics when at least 2 studies were available in each comparator subgroup. Studies with exclusively surgical specialties yielded a summary RR estimate that was significantly higher than the summary RR estimate in studies that also included nonsurgical specialties (2.59 [95% CI, 2.10-3.16] vs 1.79 [95% CI, 1.46-3.16]). Furthermore, US studies yielded higher estimates of the association between depression and medical errors compared with non-US studies (2.10 [95% CI, 1.77-2.46] vs 1.39 [95% CI, 1.00-1.93]). Summary RR estimates for studies assessing depressive symptoms through the HANDS or the PRIME-MD-2 were significantly higher compared with the ones identified through the PHQ-9 (HANDS: 2.32 [95% CI, 1.97-2.72]; PRIME-MD-2: 2.39 [95% CI, 1.97-2.86]; PHQ-9: 1.67 [95% CI, 1.45-1.92]) (eFigure 2 in the Supplement). No statistically significant differences in RR estimates were found between subgroups of studies stratified by physician career level or studies inquiring physicians about medical errors in the past 3 or 12 months.
A single study assessed depressive symptoms associated with medication errors actively surveyed in the next month.12 The sensitivity analysis that excluded this study did not show a significant reduction in heterogeneity statistics (from 1.95; 95% CI, 1.63-2.33; χ2 = 49.91; P < .001; I2 = 82%; τ2 = 0.06 to 1.94; 95% CI, 1.61-2.33; χ2 = 49.88; P < .001; I2 = 84%; τ2 = 0.06). In contrast, the sensitivity analysis that excluded the only study39 that used the WHO-5 to assess physician depressive symptoms resulted in a reduction in all heterogeneity statistics (from 1.95; 95% CI, 1.63-2.33; χ2 = 49.91; P < .001; I2 = 82%; τ2 = 0.06 to 2.07; 95% CI, 1.77-2.43; χ2 = 31.91; P < .001; I2 = 75%; τ2 = 0.04) (eFigure 1 in the Supplement). Metaregression results revealed that RR estimates did not significantly vary with baseline survey year (estimate = 0.01; 95% CI, –0.05 to 0.07; QM [statistic for the test of moderators] = 0.14; P = .71) or percentage of female physicians (estimate = –0.06; 95% CI, –1.13 to 1.00; QM = 0.01; P = .91) (eFigure 3 in the Supplement).
When evaluated by the quality assessment indicators, longitudinal studies yielded summary RR estimates that were significantly lower compared with those from the cross-sectional sectional studies (1.62; 95% CI, 1.43-1.84; χ2 = 5.77; P = .33; I2 = 13%; τ2 < 0.01 vs 2.51; 95% CI, 2.20-2.83; χ2 = 5.44; P = .14; I2 = 45%; τ2 < 0.01). No statistically significant differences in RR estimates were found between subgroups of studies stratified by sample size, ascertainment of the depression measure, representativeness of the sample, or descriptive characteristics of the participants (eFigure 4 in the Supplement).
Assessment of Publication BiasA funnel plot of studies that reported on physician depressive symptoms associated with medical errors is presented in eFigure 5 in the Supplement). The Egger test indicated the absence of significant publication bias (intercept = –2.79; P = .12).
DiscussionThis systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies involving 21 517 physicians demonstrated an association between physician depressive symptoms and an increased risk for perceived medical errors (RR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.63-2.33). We also found that the magnitude of the associations of physician depressive symptoms and perceived medical errors were relatively consistent across studies that assessed training and practicing physicians, providing additional evidence that physician depression has implications for the quality of care delivered by physicians at different career stages.
Subgroup meta-analysis of studies stratified by different study-level characteristics identified study design, specialty type, geographic region, and depressive symptoms measure as possible sources of heterogeneity in this meta-analysis. The 6 longitudinal studies that assessed physician depressive symptoms associated with subsequent medical errors yielded a significantly lower summary RR estimate compared with the 4 cross-sectional studies included in this meta-analysis (1.62 [95% CI, 1.43-1.84] vs 2.51 [95% CI, 2.20-2.83]), but a significant increased risk for medical errors among physicians with depressive symptoms was identified in both study designs.
Similarly, although the summary RR estimates for studies that included nonsurgical specialties, that were from non-US countries, and that used the PHQ-9 as a measure of depressive symptoms were significantly lower than the summary RR estimates identified for their reference subgroups, the estimates were still statistically significant for all analyzed subgroups. These results support the main finding that depressive symptoms are associated with an increased risk for medical errors among physicians.
In line with these results, sensitivity analysis demonstrated that no individual study was associated with the overall RR estimate by more than 0.12 points (overall RR estimates in sensitivity analysis varied from 1.85 [95% CI, 1.56-2.19] to 2.07 [95% CI, 1.77-2.43]). The study that accounted for the largest variation in the magnitude of RR estimates (from 1.95 [95% CI, 1.63-2.33] to 2.07 [95% CI, 1.77-2.43]) used the WHO-5 for the ascertainment of depression in Japanese physicians.39 The WHO-5 was originally designed as a measure of subjective well-being and has been validated as a depression screening instrument.45 Studies conducted in primary care settings have suggested that the WHO-5′s broad statements tend to favor sensitivity at the cost of specificity when screening for depression in the general population,46-49 which might have been a source of heterogeneity in the present study.
A previous meta-analysis has associated physician burnout and emotional distress with patient safety outcomes.50 The present meta-analysis advances the findings of this past work in different ways. First, the issue of quantifying heterogeneous constructs of emotional distress in the same meta-analysis was overcome by focusing on depressive symptoms, which have well-established clinical criteria and methods of assessment.20,51 Similarly, by working with RR instead of odds ratio estimates, we were able to more accurately estimate the magnitude of the association between depressive symptoms and perceived medical errors.52,53 Furthermore, the analysis of 7 longitudinal studies12-15,39,40,44 allowed us to demonstrate that physician depressive symptoms are associated with future medical errors (RR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.43-1.84; n = 5595 physicians from 6 studies12-15,39,40) and that medical errors are associated with future depressive symptoms in physicians (RR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.48-1.87; n = 4462 physicians from 4 studies14,15,40,44). Taken together, these data suggest that the association between physician depression and medical errors is bidirectional. To our knowledge, this study is the first to systematically review the direction of the associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors.
Studies have recommended the addition of physician well-being to the Triple Aim of enhancing the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care.54-57 Results of the present study endorse the Quadruple Aim movement by demonstrating not only that medical errors are associated with physician health but also that physician depressive symptoms are associated with subsequent errors. Given that few physicians with depression seek treatment58,59 and that recent evidence has pointed to the lack of organizational interventions aimed at reducing physician depressive symptoms,25 our findings underscore the need for institutional policies to remove barriers to the delivery of evidence-based treatment to physicians with depression. Investments in patient safety have been associated with significant reductions in health care costs,60 and the bidirectional associations between physician depressive symptoms and perceived medical errors verified by this meta-analysis suggest that physician well-being is critical to patient safety. Further studies are needed to explore these associations. Such research should investigate whether systematic interventions for reducing depressive symptoms could be factors in decreased medical errors.
LimitationsThis systematic review and meta-analysis has some limitations. First, 10 of 11 studies included relied on self-report measures of medical errors.13-16,39-44 Although substantial differences in RR estimates and heterogeneity statistics were not identified by sensitivity analysis that removed the only study that assessed medical errors through active surveillance,12 the small sample size of the referred study limited its weight in the overall meta-analysis. Furthermore, although self-reported errors have been found to be highly correlated with recorded events,61 the self-report nature of the included studies may have introduced bias to the present results. For instance, physicians with depression may be more likely to perceive medical errors, which may drive the association between depressive symptoms and medical errors. However, the secondary meta-analyses of longitudinal studies that assessed depressive symptoms associated with subsequent medical errors and medical errors associated with future depressive symptoms demonstrated significantly increased risk estimates, which suggests the existence of bidirectional temporal associations between physician depressive symptoms and perceived medical errors. Similarly, all included studies examined and ascertained depressive symptoms from self-report inventories that varied in sensitivity and specificity. Therefore, the results demonstrated the presence of associations between depressive symptoms and perceived medical errors rather than the association between a clinical diagnosis of depression and medical errors.
Second, the 10 studies that evaluated self-reported medical errors included general questions about either major,13-15,39,40,42-44 harmful,16 or any41 medical errors. By doing so, these studies might have underestimated particular acts and omissions with potential to harm that physicians might not have considered to be a major, harmful, or any medical error. In the only study that assessed errors through active surveillance, more than 60% of the observed medical errors were considered to be potentially harmful,12 which suggests that a large portion of medical errors committed by physicians could have negative consequences for patients.
Third, the small number of studies included in some of the subgroups may have biased some of the subgroup analysis results.62 Fourth, despite the significant overall effect of the meta-analytic model of medical errors associated with subsequent depressive symptoms, few studies (4 studies with 4462 physicians)14,15,40,44 were included in this directional analysis, which might also have introduced bias to the results. Fifth, most studies (9 of 11) assessed US physicians.12-16,40,42-44 Therefore, the results may not be generalizable to physicians in other countries.
Sixth, although the 3 studies that evaluated both practicing and training physicians included the largest number of physicians in this meta-analysis (15 327 of 21 517),39,42,43 most of the included studies (8 of 11) exclusively assessed populations of training physicians.12-16,40,41,44 Although the subgroup meta-analysis that stratified studies by physician career level did not identify significant differences between the 2 subgroups, generalizations of the present study results to populations of practicing physicians should be done with caution. Seventh, all references included were from full-text articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Although no evidence of publication bias was verified by Egger test, the exclusion of unpublished data and gray literature might have introduced selection bias to this analysis.
ConclusionsBy combining data from multiple studies, this systematic review and meta-analysis found that physician depressive symptoms were associated with increased risk for perceived medical errors and that the association between depressive symptoms and perceived errors was bidirectional. Future research is needed to evaluate the associations of physician depressive symptoms with objective measures of medical errors, such as active surveillance. Studies that include physicians from different countries could answer whether cultural and socioeconomic aspects play a role in the associations between depressive symptoms and errors. Future research is also needed into the degree to which interventions for reducing physician depressive symptoms could mitigate medical errors and improve physician well-being and patient care.
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Article InformationAccepted for Publication: October 4, 2019.
Published: November 27, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16097
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2019 Pereira-Lima K et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Author: Karina Pereira-Lima, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, 205 Zina Pitcher Pl, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5720 (email@example.com).
Microchip-based OCT Measures Retinal Tissue can become noninvasive, highly accurate, Alzheimer's biomarker 10-15 years ahead of symptom onset
Research at Columbia University has developed a microchip tool that can produce accurate 3D images of retinal tissue that can be analyzed to show the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This test can provide clinicians and their patients with 10-15 years lead time to make changes in lifestyle and other factors to reduce the chances of developing dementia symptoms.
Quietmind Fdn's research studies and supports the development of noninvasive techniques and is working with experts in OCT to create a comprehensive risk assessment suite that can be easily deployed worldwide to evaluate and treat the underlying causes of neurodegeneration.
For more information about our ongoing non-drug noninvasive clinical trials at Quietmind Foundation click https://www.quietmindfdn.org/trials.html: or call 610-940-0488
Linkedin reporter Zoe Peterkin wrote up some questions she submitted to me and the file linked below is the full article. I think it will be useful as a concise outlining of Quietmind Foundation's experience providing neuroteedback combined with photobiomodulation (light therapy) to stop and reverse dementia symptoms. Our recruiting has started to work such that we now need only 20 more subjects for our study. Pleaase call 610-940-0488 for details.
Photobiomodulation: How light protects our memory
Photobiomodulation is a process that uses infrared light to stimulate our body. At an early age we learn that the sun is responsible for all life on earth. It should come as no surprise then, that research now suggests that a specific kind of light from the sun can help heal illnesses, stopping, or even reversing dementia or memory loss. Today, the search for a memory loss cure is often focused on a new drug. Photobiomodulation offers an approach that isn’t invasive and doesn’t rely on another medication.
What is Photobiomodulation or PBM?
We’ve all seen the spectrum of light from blue to red that’s created when white light shines through a prism. The band of light that’s just beyond the red that our eyes can see is called infrared and has very special properties that are key to sustaining life.
One of Infrared’s ‘special properties’ is that it can stimulate blood flow and the body’s own repair functions by increasing the available energy in our cells to make repairs and clear away damage. Understanding how Infrared can improve health and wellness has been the central focus of our research and treatment programs at Quietmind Foundation.
How Photobiomodulation helps memory loss
Since 2007, we have worked to understand how PBM and light therapy can improve memory loss in people with memory loss or dementia. To harness the power of infrared we use two light therapy devices: Cognitolite and Vielight.
Cognitolite was developed in the UK and studied by researchers at Durham University’s Department of Neuronal Physics. Quietmind has been studying this device for 13 years. The Cognitolite uses 1068nm pulsed infrared LEDs that covers the whole head and shines light into the eyes. Cognitolite uses 1100
Another device we use is the Vielight. It is much smaller, Vielight is a Canadian company with product assembly operations around the world. It was cleared by the FDA for general wellness. Quietmind has studied this device since 2015.
It has 5 powerful diodes compared to the Cognitolite’s 1100 LEDs and also has a diode that is inserted into one nostril to stimulate the nasal blood vessels. Our 13 years of clinical research experience has convinced us that combining neurofeedback and infrared light therapy using the Cognitolite or the Vielight, are worthwhile investments in healing and protecting our brain’s healthy functioning.
Have you or someone you know experienced memory loss?
Quietmind Foundation is recruiting subjects who are interested in joining a clinical trials using the Cognitolite device at home for 2 months.
The theory about how reducing beta amyloid plaque could positively effect dementia symptoms has now been shown to be true in a recent report on the drug aducanumab which is an antibody therapy. The medication is likely to be brought to market once approval is obtained and Biogen is going to apply for approval in early 2020.
This drug study result supports what we already know about transcranial photobiomodulation (TPBM) with 1068nm pulsed infrared light stimulation. We also know that there are no adverse side effects with TPBM and the cost of treatment is almost certainly going to be significantly less than lifelong treatment with aducanumab.
Quietmind Foundation has been providing integrative therapy that combines TPBM with home- based, brainwave biofeedback also called neurofeedback) training (NFB) that eliminates the underlying beta amyloid plaque while also increasing mitochondrial health and productivity with NFB to help repair our disrupted brain electrical networks independent of drug or other invasive procedures and unwanted side effects. QMF's longer-term therapy programs are conducted entirely at home by the patient and caregivers, with online training, clinical guidance, and periodic neuropsychiatric and neuropsychophsyiological evaluations at Quietmind Foundation's offices in Philadelphia, New York City, and Los Angeles. Please call Marvin Berman PhD at 610-940-0488 to be considered for one of our ongoing clinical trials or our longer-term comprehensive and individualized neurodegeneration treatment program.
Our team regularly publishes articles and blog posts on the latest research and news coming out of our group and the field in general.