From the Editor
He diagnosed himself. My patient suspected something was wrong, did some reading, and then completed a PHQ-9 survey (which he found on a website). But, like many, he struggled to get care.
The story is too familiar. Access to care is deeply problematic. Not surprisingly, then, low-cost interventions are of interest, with much work focused on CBT. What about mindfulness? In the first selection, Clara Strauss (of the University of Sussex) and her co-authors attempt to answer that question with direct comparison of mindfulness and CBT. In a new JAMA Psychiatry paper, they find: “practitioner-supported [mindfulness] was superior to standard recommended treatment (ie, practitioner-supported CBT) for mild to moderate depression in terms of both clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.” We consider the paper and its implications.
In the second selection, Keith Humphreys (of Stanford University) and Chelsea L. Shover (of the University of California, Los Angeles) look at overdose deaths in older Americans for JAMA Psychiatry. Drawing on a database, they find a quadrupling between 2002 and 2021. “Even though drug overdose remains an uncommon cause of death among older adults in the US, the quadrupling of fatal overdoses among older adults should be considered in evolving policies focused on the overdose epidemic.”
And in the third selection, Dr. Ethan L. Sanford (of the University of Texas) writes about the loss of his infant daughter. In a deeply personal essay for JAMA, he describes her illness and death – and his re-evaluation of his career. “I sometimes wish every physician could understand the loss of a child. I wish they could understand how I miss Ceci achingly, how I miss her in my bones.”