Saturday, February 27, 2021
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Patient Communication   Pediatrics   SDOH   Vaccines   Food & Nutrition

Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes

There’s no reason to complicate life. Find simplicity in who can be your furry, coping companion, how you express yourself, why your mood keeps you healthy, and how to approach meals.


Dogs aren’t the only coping companions

The depth of research pointing to the calming effects of dogs is great. But could another well-loved furry friend deliver similar results? You bet! New research published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing shows that cats may help increase empathy and decrease separation anxiety for children with autism.”

Previous research has shown parents of kids with autism are more stressed than parents of kids with any other disability,” lead researcher Gretchen Carlisle, PhD, RN, said. “If a family is considering adopting a companion animal, we want to provide the best evidence-based information possible so they can make an informed decision, and cats might be more beneficial than dogs to some families.”

Simpler language leads to higher vaccine rates

New research finds that adolescents are nine times more likely to receive a vaccine when providers introduce the topic to parents with a simple statement like “your child is due for vaccines today.” It also results in a shorter vaccine discussion.

Boston Medical Center researchers studied the acceptance of the HPV vaccine and the meningococcal vaccine and the language used to offer them. Specifically, they compared making the request in an indicated style—saying “you are due for a vaccine,” to an elective style—saying “would you like to vaccinate?” The indicated style was associated with more efficient visits, allowing for more time for patients to discuss other health concerns with their provider. Neither indicative nor elective styles compromised patient satisfaction with the interaction.

Providers normally use the indicated tactic when presenting vaccines, but not for all vaccines. It is less frequently used for the HPV vaccine than for the meningococcal vaccination, which may lower vaccine acceptance and lead to parental confusion. Parents of children who need vaccinations look to providers for guidance, and the disparity in communication suggests parents may not receive equally clear messaging on all vaccines. Something to consider next time you need to talk about vaccines.

Mood could hamper coronavirus vaccine

Emotional stressors can weaken the body’s immune system and lower the effectiveness of certain vaccines—including the new coronavirus vaccines, suggests a new report accepted for publication in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Mental conditions such as burnout, depression, and anxiety can hinder your body’s ability to respond to the vaccine. Fortunately, it may be possible to reduce these negative effects with simple steps like exercise and sleep. One strategy the researchers suggest is to engage in vigorous exercise and get a good night’s sleep in the 24 hours before vaccination so that your immune system is operating at peak performance. This may help ensure that the best and strongest immune response happens as quickly as possible.

Consider this your go-to meal solution

Make breakfast. That’s it. When you’re not sure what to make for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, consider a typical morning meal. Here are 11 recipes that are hearty enough to be eaten any time of day, and some are packable.



The percentage of food-insufficient Americans reporting anxiety symptoms compared to 63% of food-sufficient Americans. Researchers found that free groceries or meals alleviated some of the mental health burden.


Make this your next theme song.

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