Homepage Round-Up: Depressed Doctors Make More Medical Errors; The Lasting Effects of Gunshot Wounds; and More

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Homepage section. In this week’s edition of the round-up: physicians suffering with symptoms of depression make more medical errors, mining alcohol related Tweets is the best way to gather public health data; short-term exposure to air pollution increases hospital admissions and costs; and gunshot wound survivors have high rates of PTSD, unemployment, and substance abuse.

Physicians suffering from symptoms of depression are more likely to make medical errors, according to the findings of a recent study published in JAMA Network Open. “By 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,” the authors wrote.

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests that mining people’s alcohol-related tweets and online searchers is a faster, and more efficient method than the tradition method of collecting rigorous public health data through large survey-based studies. “Informal social media and search data may be really important for detecting and responding to things that we don’t anticipate – or that occur naturally,” said the senior study author: “Our results give confidence in our public health tools and in using novel data approaches to measure health behaviors and policy effects — a real win.”

Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) is associated with increased rates of hospital admissions and health insurance costs, according to the findings of a recent study published in BMJ. “New causes and previously identified causes of hospital admission associated with short term exposure to PM2.5 were found,” the researchers wrote. “These associations remained even at a daily PM2.5 concentration below the WHO 24-hour guideline. Substantial economic costs were linked to a small increase in short term PM2.5.”

The lasting effects of gunshot wounds (GSWs) reach far beyond mortality and economic burden, and survivors incur higher instances of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unemployment, and substance abuse,  according to the findings of a new study published by JAMA Surgery. The researchers wrote that: “Survivors of GSWs may have negative outcomes for years after injury. These findings suggest that early identification and initiation of long-term longitudinal care is paramount.”