James Amos, MD, Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa, continues our celebration of Open Access Week with a guest post on the importance of free access to medical articles for patients and their families.
The importance of open access medical literature
James Amos, MD
As a consulting psychiatrist, I teach medical students and residents, I really appreciate open access medical literature. We have a weekly case conference called Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry, a practical way to teach the Practice-Based Learning & Improvement Core Competency.
This helps develop the habit of reflecting on and analyzing one’s practice performance; locating and applying scientific evidence to the care of patients; critically appraising the medical literature; using the computer to support learning and patient care, and facilitating the education of other health care professionals.
Recurring topics are delirium and dementia. Our recommendations for patients, families, and colleagues depend on free, easy access to studies and reviews.
A poignant reminder was a recent CNN article about a man struggling to cope with early state Alzheimer’s disease. He said, “All we really are is our thoughts…” Ironically, mindfulness research tells us the opposite might be true. A paper in the Directory of Open Access Journals reviews the growing research literature on the role of mindfulness in moderating the suffering of those with dementia .
- Marciniak, R., et al. (2014). “Effect of meditation on cognitive functions in context of aging and neurodegenerative diseases.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8.