Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Meeting: Mental Health is not as prominent this year

Meetings have a number of hot topics on which they focus on any given year.  Last year, I live blogged from the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Hawaii (OK, I vacationed a little bit afterwards).  There was a lot of talk and a lot of activity about Children's Mental Health.  This year, not as much.  The hot topics seem to be health reform, dealing the flu epidemic and overweight.  The debates spoke of health care reform and reimbursement; and, while everyone insists that access includes mental, dental and physical health, it is not clear to me that we parity is good enough.
Today, there were some posters on mental health, and this afternoon some platform sessions.  Let me tell you about them.
1)  Colocation of mental health workers with primary care:  Works great, when you can afford it.  They were grant-funded, and have yet to find the model that will let them carry on.
2)  TV and Behavior Issues:  A large cohort study of 2.5 - 6.0 y/o children from LA (many Latinos)  showed that attention and hyperactivity wasn't associated with TV exposure, but the conduct problems were associated with TV exposure, including "background" TV.  Comment from the floor:  Television is called a "medium" because it is neither rare or well done.
3)  The ethics of science:  One of my colleagues, Mark Schuster from Children's, gave a wonderful speech on the ways in which science has allowed itself to be politicized, leading to public mistrust of the analysis of data.  He mentioned the Biederman affair, discussed earlier on this blog.
So, this meeting was more about health reform than mental health reform.  Still worthwhile.
Going home tomorrow-  wonder what I have waiting for me.

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