Recent advances in the understanding of elder mistreatment have demonstrated that financial exploitation tends to be one of the most common forms of mistreatment affecting older populations. Agencies such as the World Bank and World Health Organization show significant concern regarding financial exploitation and its connection to physical and emotional injury to victims. The World Bank uses the term “financial violence” as a means of generally describing the harm caused to an individual as a result of financial exploitation or abuse. The proportion of financial exploitation in relation to other forms of elder mistreatment is defined in our research. We discuss the potential impact of elder financial exploitation on victims as well as explore the implications for future research and policy development focused on financial aspects of elder mistreatment and call for further study in the concept of financial exploitation as a violent act.
OBJECTIVE: To provide recommendations for family physicians on the detection, assessment and management of abuse or mistreatment in patients over 65 years of age. OPTIONS: Detection of elder abuse by history and examination or by specific protocols; intervention through mandatory reporting, removing the victim from the situation or acting as an advocate for the patient. OUTCOMES: Termination of abusive situation and prevention of further abuse. EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search was conducted with the use of medical subject headings "elder abuse" and "epidemiology" for articles published from January 1980 to October 1992 and headings "elder abuse" and "clinical trials" for articles published from January 1980 to February 1994. Standard references and review articles and their bibliographies were scrutinized, and experts were consulted. VALUES: The evidence-based methods and values of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination were used. Since senior citizens are among the most disadvantaged people in Canadian society, prevention of abuse and promotion of their autonomy were the highest values selected. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: The principal benefits are cessation and prevention of abuse. Potential harms include the loss of a personal residence, the erosion of an established family structure and the loss of autonomy for the victim. RECOMMENDATIONS: There is poor evidence to include case finding for elder abuse in or exclude it from the periodic health examination. However, it is prudent for physicians to be alert for indications of elder abuse and, if such abuse is discovered, to take measures to prevent further abuse.
The purpose of this study was to explore through interviews of healthcare professionals their perspectives on elder abuse to achieve a better understanding of the problems of reporting and generate ideas for improving the process. Through a mailed survey, nurses, physicians, and social workers were invited to participate in an interview. Nine nurses, 8 physicians, and 6 social workers were interviewed and thematic analysis was used to identify the following core themes: professional orientation, assessment, interpretation, systems, and knowledge and education. The impact by healthcare professionals in recognizing and reporting elder abuse and obtaining resources for those mistreated can be profound. Nurses tended to perceive elder abuse as uncommon and generally did not feel it was their role nor did they have time to assess patients for potential abuse. Physicians felt that other patient care issues, time limitations and maintaining trust in the clinician-patient relationship outweighed the importance of detecting and pursuing suspected cases of elder abuse. Social workers, although having the most knowledge and experience related to elder abuse, relied on nurses and physicians to detect potential abusive situations and to work with them in making appropriate referrals. The three disciplines acknowledged the need for more and better education about elder abuse detection and reporting. Participants suggested a reorganization of the external reporting system. More frequent and pragmatic education is necessary to strengthen practical knowledge about elder abuse.
elder abuse; elder mistreatment; primary care; reporting
While two recent major studies provide some insight into the prevalence and correlates of elder mistreatment, the relationship between elder mistreatment and mental health remains unclear. This study begins to address this issue by examining the relationship between elder mistreatment (i.e., a recent history of emotional and physical abuse) and negative emotional symptoms (e.g., anxiety and depression) among 902 older adults aged 60 and above residing in South Carolina. Results demonstrate that emotional, but not physical abuse is, significantly correlated with higher levels of emotional symptoms. This relationship is sustained when controlling for established demographic and social/dependency risk factors. These data suggest that mistreated older adults also suffer from greater emotional symptoms and highlight the need for more research in this area.
Elder; mistreatment; emotion; rural
To discuss what constitutes elder abuse, why family physicians should be aware of it, what signs and symptoms might suggest mistreatment of older adults, how the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index might help in identification of abuse, and what options exist for responding to suspicions of abuse.
Sources of information
MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Social Work Abstracts were searched for publications in English or French, from 1970 to 2011, using the terms elder abuse, elder neglect, elder mistreatment, seniors, older adults, violence, identification, detection tools, and signs and symptoms. Relevant publications were reviewed.
Elder abuse is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. While family physicians are well placed to identify mistreatment of seniors, their actual rates of reporting abuse are lower than those in other professions. This might be improved by an understanding of the range of acts that constitute elder abuse and what signs and symptoms seen in the office might suggest abuse. Detection might be enhanced by use of a short validated tool, such as the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index.
Family physicians can play a larger role in identifying possible elder abuse. Once suspicion of abuse is raised, most communities have social service or law enforcement providers available to do additional assessments and interventions.
The Workshop on Environmental Exposures and Cancer was held by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) 25-26 April 2001. An expert panel convened to achieve consensus on a list of important environmental exposures, priority environmental exposures in Ontario, and recommendations for CCO in the areas of surveillance, research, and prevention activities to address these environmental exposures. Panel members developed a working definition of environmental exposure and criteria to prioritize the identified exposures. The process followed in the workshop provided CCO with important direction for its surveillance, research, and prevention activities to address environmental exposures and cancer. It is hoped that the environmental exposures and the opportunities identified through this workshop process will guide policy makers, program personnel, and researchers interested in and struggling with the challenges associated with surveillance, research, and prevention of environmental exposures.
Elder abuse and neglect (EAN) comprises emotional, financial, physical, and sexual abuse, neglect by other individuals, and self-neglect. Elder abuse and neglect in seniors with psychiatric morbidity was not monitored in the Czech Republic at all, despite the literature shows mental morbidity as one of the important risk factor for developing elder abuse and neglect.
We designed comparative cross sectional study comprising 305 seniors hospitalized in Mental Hospital Kromeriz in June 2011 – group of 202 seniors hospitalized due to mental disorder in psychogeriatric ward and group of 103 seniors hospitalized due to somatic disorder in internal ward. Content analysis of medical records was done in both groups of seniors, with regards to symptoms of elder abuse. Then, we discussed the topic of elder abuse with 30 nurses of psychogeriatric ward in focus group interview.
Between two compared groups of seniors we detected statistically higher prevalence of elder abuse in seniors with psychiatric morbidity (48 cases, 23.8% prevalence of EAN), compared to somatically ill seniors (3 cases, 2.9%). As for nursing staff, 5 from 30 nurses (16.7%) have never heard about symptoms of elder abuse and neglect, 10 from 30 nurses (33.3%) had just a partial knowledge about elder abuse and neglect and its symptoms, the rest of nurses (15 from 30 nurses, 50.0%) had good knowledge about elder abuse and neglect and its symptoms.
Elder abuse and neglect seems to be a relevant problem in senior population with mental disorders. Development of educational programs for nursing and medical staff about Elder abuse and neglect (symptoms of EAN, early detection of EAN, knowledge how to report cases of EAN) could improve the situation and help mentally ill seniors to better quality of life.
Demography of ageing; Ageism; Elder abuse and neglect; Psychiatric morbidity; Somatical morbidity
Resident-to-resident aggression (RRA) between long-term care residents includes negative and aggressive physical, sexual, or verbal interactions that in a community setting would likely be construed as unwelcome and have high potential to cause physical or psychological distress in the recipient. Although this problem potentially has high incidence and prevalence and serious consequences for aggressors and victims, it has received little direct attention from researchers to date. This article reviews the limited available literature on this topic as well as relevant research from related areas including: resident violence toward nursing home staff, aggressive behaviors by elderly persons, and community elder abuse. We present hypothesized risk factors for aggressor, victim, and nursing home environment, including issues surrounding cognitive impairment. We discuss methodological challenges to studying RRA and offer suggestions for future research. Finally, we describe the importance of designing effective interventions, despite the lack currently available, and suggest potential areas of future research.
aggressive behavior; nursing homes; dementia; epidemiology
In November 2002, the National Center for Healthy Housing convened a 2-day workshop to review the state of knowledge in the field of healthy housing. The workshop, supported with funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and National Center for Environmental Health, was unique in that it focused solely on the effect of housing on children’s health and the translation of research findings into practical activities in home construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance. Participants included experts and practitioners representing the health, housing, and environmental arenas. Presentations by subject-matter experts covered four key areas: asthma, neurotoxicants, injury, and translational research. Panel discussions followed the presentations, which generated robust dialogue on potential future research opportunities and overall policy gaps. Lack of consensus on standard measurements, incomplete understanding about the interaction of home hazards, inadequate research on the effectiveness of interventions, and insufficient political support limit current efforts to achieve healthy housing. However, change is forthcoming and achievable.
asthma; childhood exposure; environmental toxicants; healthy housing; lead poisoning
Research on work life quality in hospitals has focused on how nurses and physicians perceive or react to work conditions. We extend this focus to another major professional group – healthcare administrators – to learn more about how these employees experience the work environment. Administrators merit such attention given their key roles in sustaining the financial health of the hospital and in fulfilling management functions efficiently to support consistent, high-quality care. Specifically, we examined mistreatment in the workplace experienced by administrative staff from a hospital in a large Canadian city. Three dimensions of mistreatment – verbal abuse, work obstruction and emotional neglect – have been associated with diminished well-being, work satisfaction and organizational commitment, along with stronger intent to leave. In this paper, we provide additional support for interpreting these three dimensions as mistreatment and report on their frequencies in our sample. We then consider implications for policy development (e.g., communication and conflict resolution skills training, mentoring programs, respect-at-work policies) to make workplaces healthier for these neglected but important healthcare professionals.
Changing priorities in the NHS have underlined the crucial importance of academic general practice in providing quality training and research to underpin developments in general practice. Unfortunately, several problems and constraints mean that the full potential of general practitioners to make a contribution to teaching and research has not been realised. These issues are examined and recommendations for improvements are made. Obstacles to career development for academics in general practice should be removed. The funding of academic general practice should be the same as for other medical disciplines. Vocational training for general practice should be extended to include research and audit methods, particularly for doctors interested in an academic career. Above all, the long term objective should be to integrate undergraduate and post-graduate general practice to increase the overall effectiveness of teaching and research and hence the quality of service general practice.
Demographic trends indicate an aging population, highlighting the importance of collecting valid survey data from older adults. One potential issue when surveying older adults is use of technology to collect data on sensitive topics. Survey technologies like A-CASI and IVR have not been used with older adults to measure elder mistreatment. We surveyed 903 adults age 60 and older in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (U.S.) with random assignment to one of four survey modes: (1) CAPI, (2) A-CASI, (3) CATI; and (4) IVR. We assessed financial, psychological, and physical mistreatment, and examined feasibility of A-CASI and IVR, and effects on prevalence estimates relative to CAPI and CATI. Approximately 83% of elders randomized to A-CASI/IVR used each technology, although 28% of respondents in the A-CASI condition refused to use headphones and read the questions instead. A-CASI produced higher six month prevalence rates of financial and psychological mistreatment than CAPI. IVR produced higher six month prevalence rates of psychological mistreatment than CATI. We conclude that, while IVR may be useful, A-CASI offers a more promising approach to the measurement of elder mistreatment.
mode effects; sensitive topics; older adults; A-CASI; IVR
Elder abuse is a global issue, with an estimated 4–10% of older persons in Canada abused each year. Although Canadian legislation has been created to prevent and punish the abuse of older persons living in nursing homes and other care facilities, community-dwelling older persons are at greater risk of abuse. This paper highlights the importance of evidence-based actions targeted at three determinants of health: (a) personal health practices and coping skills, (b) social support networks, and (c) social environments. Two research studies are profiled as case studies that illustrate the ready possibility and value of two specific types of actions on community-based older-person abuse. This paper argues for the immediate and widespread adoption of these evidence-based measures and for additional empirical evidence to guide the correction of underreporting of abuse, raise awareness of its serious nature, and increase options to not only stop it but ultimately prevent it.
Heart failure is common, yet it is difficult to treat. It presents in many different guises and circumstances in which therapy needs to be individualized. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society published a comprehensive set of recommendations in January 2006 on the diagnosis and management of heart failure, and the present update builds on those core recommendations.
Based on feedback obtained through a national program of heart failure workshops during 2006, several topics were identified as priorities because of the challenges they pose to health care professionals. New evidence-based recommendations were developed using the structured approach for the review and assessment of evidence adopted and previously described by the Society. Specific recommendations and practical tips were written for the prevention of heart failure, the management of heart failure during intercurrent illness, the treatment of acute heart failure, and the current and future roles of biomarkers in heart failure care.
Specific clinical questions that are addressed include: which patients should be identified as being at high risk of developing heart failure and which interventions should be used? What complications can occur in heart failure patients during an intercurrent illness, how should these patients be monitored and which medications may require a dose adjustment or discontinuation? What are the best therapeutic, both drug and nondrug, strategies for patients with acute heart failure? How can new biomarkers help in the treatment of heart failure, and when and how should BNP be measured in heart failure patients?
The goals of the present update are to translate best evidence into practice, to apply clinical wisdom where evidence for specific strategies is weaker, and to aid physicians and other health care providers to optimally treat heart failure patients to result in a measurable impact on patient health and clinical outcomes in Canada.
Acute heart failure; Comorbidities; Consensus statement; Drug therapy; Guidelines; Heart failure; Intercurrent illness; Natriuretic peptides; Prevention; Risk factors
A pilot survey in Tower Hamlets, London, indicated that many general practitioners (GPs) might not be recognizing abuse of elderly patients through lack of training. The survey was replicated on a large scale in Birmingham, to allow further analysis. 561 Birmingham GPs were mailed questionnaires and responses from 291 were analysed, providing data from 95% of the practices. The findings were similar to those in Tower Hamlets: just under half had diagnosed elder abuse in the previous year. Regression analysis of the combined data-sets (n = 363) indicated that the strongest factor predicting GP diagnosis of abuse was knowledge of 5 or more risk situations (odds ratio 6.77, 95% confidence interval 4.19, 10.93). The findings of these surveys suggest that research-based education and training would help GPs to become better at identifying and managing elder abuse.
Depression is common among older patients yet is often inadequately treated. Patient beliefs about antidepressants are known to affect treatment initiation and adherence, but are often not expressed in clinical settings.
To explore attitudes toward antidepressants in a sample of depressed, community-dwelling elders who were offered treatment.
Cross-sectional, qualitative study utilizing semi-structured interviews.
Primary care patients age 60 years and over with depression, from academic and community primary care practices of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs. Patients participated in either the Prevention of Suicide in Primary Care Elderly: Collaborative Trial or the Primary Care Research in Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Elderly Trial. Sixty-eight patients were interviewed and responses from 42 participants with negative attitudes toward medication for depression were analyzed.
Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and entered into a qualitative software program for coding and analysis. A multidisciplinary team of investigators coded the transcripts and identified key features of narratives expressing aversion to antidepressants.
Four themes characterized resistance to antidepressants: (1) fear of dependence; (2) resistance to viewing depressive symptoms as a medical illness; (3) concern that antidepressants will prevent natural sadness; (4) prior negative experiences with medications for depression.
Many elders resisted the use of antidepressants. Patients expressed concerns that seem to reflect their concept of depression as well as their specific concerns regarding antidepressants. These findings may enhance patient-provider communication about depression treatment in elders.
antidepressants; patient preferences; qualitative research; geriatrics
Sexual assault and rape routinely produce extreme distress and negative psychological reactions in victims. Further, past research suggests that victims are at increased risk of developing substance use or abuse post-rape in efforts to ameliorate post assault distress. The post-rape forensic medical exam may itself exacerbate peritraumatic distress because it includes cues that may serve as reminders of the assault, thereby potentiating post-assault negative sequelae. To address this problem, a two-part video intervention was developed to take advantage of the existing sexual assault forensic exam infrastructure, and to specifically (a) minimize anxiety/discomfort during forensic examinations, thereby reducing risk of future emotional problems, and (b) prevent increased substance use and abuse following sexual assault. Updated findings with a sample of 268 sexual assault victims participating in the forensic medical exam and completing one or more follow-up assessments at: (1) < 3 months post-assault; (2) 3 to 6 months post-assault; or (3) 6 months or longer post-assault indicated that the video was associated with significantly lower frequency of marijuana use at each time point, among women who reported use prior to the assault.
Sexual Assault; Rape; Intervention; Marijuana; Drug
In September 2005, the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), with the support of several other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)1, held a workshop entitled “Cultural Dynamics in HIV Biobehavioral Research.” This Special Issue of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care contains a series of articles developed from that workshop. These articles are derived from those presentations that focused on prevention of infection. The articles do not contain an agenda or recommendations from NINR or any other component of the NIH. Rather, the purpose of this special issue is to share with a broad audience the exciting dialogue that began at the workshop, and which the authors hope will continue for some time in the future. The articles represent an interdisciplinary and global perspective. Issues discussed include behavioral theory, inter-generational communication, historical trauma, modernization, research methodology, and the ethics of community clinic trials.
HIV prevention research; cultural dynamics; behavioral theory
The International Diabetes Federation Taskforce on Epidemiology and Prevention of Diabetes convened a consensus working group of diabetologists, endocrinologists, surgeons and public health experts to review the appropriate role of surgery and other gastrointestinal interventions in the treatment and prevention of Type 2 diabetes. The specific goals were: to develop practical recommendations for clinicians on patient selection; to identify barriers to surgical access and suggest interventions for health policy changes that ensure equitable access to surgery when indicated; and to identify priorities for research. Bariatric surgery can significantly improve glycaemic control in severely obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. It is an effective, safe and cost-effective therapy for obese Type 2 diabetes. Surgery can be considered an appropriate treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes and obesity not achieving recommended treatment targets with medical therapies, especially in the presence of other major co-morbidities. The procedures must be performed within accepted guidelines and require appropriate multidisciplinary assessment for the procedure, comprehensive patient education and ongoing care, as well as safe and standardized surgical procedures. National guidelines for bariatric surgery need to be developed for people with Type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or more.
Anecdotal tales of colorful temper tantrums and outbursts by surgeons directed at operating room nurses and at times other health care providers, like residents and fellows, are part of the history of surgery and include not only verbal abuse but also instrument throwing and real harassment. Our Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Nancy Epstein, has made the literature review of “Are there truly any risks and consequences when spine surgeons mistreat their predominantly female OR nursing staff/colleagues, and what can we do about it?,” an assigned topic for members of the editorial board as part of a new category entitled Ethical Note for our journal. This is a topic long overdue and I chose to research it.
There is no medical literature to review dealing with nurse abuse. To research this topic, one has to involve business, industry, educational institutions, compliance standards and practices, and existing state and federal laws. I asked Dr. Rosanne Wille to co-author this paper since, as the former Dean of Nursing and then Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at a major higher educational institution, she had personal experience with compliance regulations and both sexual harassment and employment discrimination complaints, to make this review meaningful.
A review of the existing business practices and both state and federal laws strongly suggests that although there has not been any specific legal complaint that is part of the public record, any surgeon who chooses to act out his or her frustration and nervous energy demands by abusing co-workers on the health care team, and in this case specifically operating room personnel, is taking a chance of making legal history with financial outcomes which only an actual trial can predict or determine. Even more serious outcomes of an out-of-control temper tantrum and disruptive behavior can terminate, after multiple hearings and appeals, in adverse decisions affecting hospital privileges.
Surgeons who abuse other health care workers are in violation of institutional bylaws and compliance regulations and create a hostile environment at work which adversely affects efficient productivity and violates specific State and Federal laws which prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
Compliance; discrimination; employment; federal laws; harassment; hospital privileges; hostile; sexual; state laws
A 70-year-old woman was admitted from a local nursing home with extensive bruising and bilateral hip discomfort. The referring doctor had reported the possibility of elder abuse to the police. Full examination showed that osteomalacia, precipitated by a poor diet and lack of exposure to sunlight, was sufficient to explain the patient's condition. Caution is recommended in diagnosing elder abuse until other possibilities have been excluded.
Biomedical research is critical to identifying effective and safe interventions, such as vaccines, microbicides, male circumcision and antiretrovirals, for prevention. Funding for clinical prevention trials is highly competitive and the benchmarks of success ultimately reduce to quickly enrolling a select group of people at risk, keeping them enrolled, and inducing them to be compliant with trial requirements - all at the lowest cost possible. Juxtaposed with this reality is the fact that HIV is situated with poverty, exploitation, assaults on human dignity, and human rights abuses. The result is a complex web of ethical challenges that are socially constructed along lines of wealth and power. While social science research methods are commonly employed to examine such topics, they have played a marginal role in biomedical HIV prevention research. Why? To answer this question, a core set of persistent interlocking social, behavioural and ethical challenges to biomedical HIV prevention research are described. A critique is offered on how the social has been framed relative to the behavioural, ethical and biomedical components. Examples of how this framing has devalued social knowledge are provided, including the conflation of qualitative research with anecdotal reporting, a bias toward brevity and accuracy over external validity, and difficulties in distinguishing between a moral understanding of social norms and achieving a moral outcome when confronted with ethical challenges in research. Lastly, opportunities are identified for enhancing the success of biomedical HIV prevention research through development of a coherent programme of social science research. Recommendations are offered for reframing the social as a valid domain of scientific inquiry in this highly applied and interdisciplinary context.
The abuse and diversion of medications is a significant public health problem. This paper is part of a supplemental issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence focused on the development of risk management plans and post-marketing surveillance related to minimizing this problem. The issue is based on a conference that was held in October, 2008. An Expert Panel was formed to provide a summary of the conclusions and recommendations that emerged from the meeting involving drug abuse experts, regulators and other government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and professional and other non-governmental organizations. This paper provides a written report of this Expert Panel. Eleven conclusions and eleven recommendations emerged concerning the state of the art of this field of research, the regulatory and public health implications and recommendations for future directions. It is concluded that special surveillance tools are needed to detect the emergence of medication abuse in a timely manner and that risk management tools can be implemented to increase the benefit to risk ratio. The scientific basis for both the surveillance and risk management tools is in its infancy, yet progress needs to be made. It is also important that the unintended consequences of increased regulation and the imposition of risk management plans be minimized.
Prescription drug abuse; regulation; epidemiology; policy; pharmacovigilance; abuse liability; risk management; surveillance
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed novel genes and pathways involved in lung disease, many of which are potential targets for therapy. However, despite numerous successes, a large proportion of the genetic variance in disease risk remains unexplained, and the function of the associated genetic variations identified by GWAS and the mechanisms by which they alter individual risk for disease or pathogenesis are still largely unknown. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) convened a 2-day workshop to address these shortcomings and to make recommendations for future research areas that will move the scientific community beyond gene discovery. Topics of individual sessions ranged from data integration and systems genetics to functional validation of genetic variations in humans and model systems. There was broad consensus among the participants for five high-priority areas for future research, including the following: (1) integrated approaches to characterize the function of genetic variations, (2) studies on the role of environment and mechanisms of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, (3) development of model systems to study gene function in complex biological systems, (4) comparative phenomic studies across lung diseases, and (5) training in and applications of bioinformatic approaches for comprehensive mining of existing data sets. Last, it was agreed that future research on lung diseases should integrate approaches across “-omic” technologies and to include ethnically/racially diverse populations in human studies of lung disease whenever possible.
genetics; epigenetics; genomics; bioinformatics; lung disease
There are an estimated 200 million users of an illicit drug in the world today. In addition, an estimated 40 million people are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and an estimated 180 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Both the use of an illicit drug and the co-occurrence of infections are associated with a multitude of medical and health consequences including hormonal and metabolic disorders. Thus, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hosted a workshop on hormonal and metabolic disorders of HIV among substance abusers. A number of clinicians and scientists participated and discussed a wide range of issues concerning hormones, nutrition and metabolic complications in HIV and substance abuse. Their observations and the recommendations they made for future research are presented in these proceedings. The readers are encouraged to contact the NIH staff (JK, FV) for technical guidance and programmatic priorities on the subject and directly contact the individual authors for collaborations.
Hormonal and metabolic disorders; viral infection; substance abuse; immunodeficiency