Digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia on depression and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis

“Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, posing a significant public health concern, with an estimated prevalence of 10–30% among adults in the general population. These numbers are greater among patients, with reports estimating 69% prevalence among primary care patients. Insomnia disorder is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – IV (DSM-IV) as the complaint for difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep, or restorative sleep for at least 1 month. [..] Depression and anxiety are the most common comorbid mental disorders associated with insomnia which can also exacerbate the sleep disorder. Recently, epidemiologic studies … Read More


The New England Journal of Medicine’s Lisa Rosenbaum speaks with University of Pennsylvania’s internal medicine physicians Paula Chatterjee (also a health services researcher) and Atheen Venkataramani (also a health economist and founder of Penn’s Opportunity for Health lab) about the role of values in health care, social determinants of health and what physicians can do to improve U.S. health care. An excerpt of the audio interview: [Rosenbaum] Atheen, I know that you also had a formative experience, I think when you were a resident at MGH. Can you talk a little bit about that and how that experience informed your … Read More

How a depression test devised by a Zoloft marketer became a crutch for a failing mental health system

“The PHQ-9 became a means for time-crunched primary care doctors, under pressure to see more and more patients in shorter appointments, to dole out prescriptions with barely a conversation. Despite its prevalence, data suggesting that PHQ-9 has actually improved outcomes is ambiguous at best. Meanwhile, mental health outcomes for patients are dismal and only getting worse, with depressive symptoms and suicide climbing ever higher. A combination of good intentions and straightforward business savvy lies behind the PHQ-9. Pfizer invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in its development [..]. The company naturally hoped its investment would pay off with increased Zoloft … Read More

Health Care Affordability: Iron Triangle Or Iron Curtain?

“The high cost of health insurance and health care services now affects not only the uninsured but also middle-class Americans with employment-based health insurance (ESI), enrollees in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and Medicare beneficiaries. A popular concept in health policy discussions is the “iron triangle”: here, here, here, here, and here. These authors posit that it is impossible to increase access and quality of care while simultaneously reducing spending. That idea warrants further scrutiny. [..] evidence suggests that failure to improve affordability is primarily due not to a mathematical “iron triangle” constraint, but an “iron curtain” of stakeholders who are aware of promising alternatives but oppose their … Read More

ChatGPT-assisted diagnosis: Is the future suddenly here?

I have been framing the future of health care as diagnosis through face-to-face interactions for making a diagnosis (and getting the patient to buy-in to the treatment plan) and ongoing maintenance or surveillance using telemedicine with supporting technologies. This article has forced me to reconsider how we might deploy artificial intelligence to support patients and clinicians during the triage and diagnosis stages of a medical journey. “Symptom checkers serve two main functions: they facilitate self-diagnosis and assist with self-triage. They typically provide the user with a list of potential diagnoses and a recommendation of how quickly they should seek care, … Read More

A Road Map For Action: Recommendations Of The Health Affairs Council On Health Care Spending And Value

“The twenty-two-member council is a nonpartisan, multidisciplinary expert working group under the leadership of cochairs William Frist [former US Senate majority leader] and Margaret Hamburg [former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration]. This report contains the council’s recommendations. [..] The goal of the recommendations in this report is to achieve higher-value health care spending and growth in the US. The mechanism for achieving this goal involves four levers: The council examined literature and received input from experts in its inquiry into drivers of spending and growth that met the following criteria: a meaningful amount of money is potentially at … Read More

The New Hospital at Home Movement: Opportunity or Threat for Patient Care?

Select Key Findings Policy Issues Debating the Future: Does H@H Save Costs and Improve Patient Care? “[..] Recent studies of cost savings from H@H programs range from 20 percent (Reese 2021) to 40 percent (Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Levine et al. 2020). But these findings are not generalizable as they are based entirely on single case studies of highly structured programs involving small samples of very carefully selected patients. For example, the study of Brigham and Women’s program examined 91 adults who were admitted to the hospital’s ED and randomly assigned to the hospital vs home for treatment. [..] While … Read More

Can Employer-sponsored Insurance Be Saved? A Review of Policy Options: Price Regulation

“[..] spending on hospital care makes up the largest single component of personal health care spending, an estimated 39 percent of the total in 2023, compared to 24 percent for physician and clinical services and 10 percent for prescription drugs. National spending on hospital care is projected to exceed $1.5 trillion in 2023, and is expected to grow by about 5.6 percent per year over the coming decade (a rate likely to significantly exceed general inflation). Much of this growth is driven by consolidation among hospitals and health systems, which then use their size and local market power to demand … Read More

Prevalence of Colorectal Neoplasia 10 or More Years After a Negative Screening Colonoscopy in 120 000 Repeated Screening Colonoscopies

“Screening colonoscopy has been shown to reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality by enabling detection and removal of precancerous lesions. However, the available evidence about the optimal screening interval is limited. [..] More targeted screening offers would potentially reduce the burden of testing and demand of capacities and costs associated with colonoscopy, thereby also counteracting the frequently reported overuse and underuse of screening examinations in considerable proportions of the population. [..] Anonymized registration of screening colonoscopy findings and the use of the anonymized data for program evaluation by the Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care in Germany is … Read More

What predicts drug-free type 2 diabetes remission? Insights from an 8-year general practice service evaluation of a lower carbohydrate diet with weight loss

“we examine real-world data from a cohort based in a UK primary care clinic offering a low-carbohydrate approach to people with T2D [type 2 diabetes] from 2013 to 2021. The physiological mechanisms behind remission induced by dietary weight loss were first demonstrated in 2011. Since then the idea of drug-free T2D remission has gained international momentum. [..] Advice on lowering dietary carbohydrate was offered routinely by our team of nine specially trained GPs and three practice nurses to patients with T2D (defined as HbA1c >48 mmol/mol on two occasions) starting in March 2013. Our protocol includes important information around the deprescribing of … Read More