A Newsletter for the HHQI Underserved Populations (UP) Network            
December 2013 
UP Network Announcements  
   UP Networking Events are on holiday for December and January. 
We will resume February 12, 2014. If you missed the 11/13/13 webinar titled, "Advice and Tips from Home Health Experts on 3 Key Topics", listen  to the  recording - excellent information!!


November 13 Webinar


Advice and Tips from Home Health Experts on 3 Key Topics  

  • If you are in charge of your PI/QI Program, do you know what the essentials are?
  • Does your pulse race when it comes time for a survey?
  • Do you have palpitations when your mail is delivered with ADRs?

Speakers:  Cheryl Pacella, DNP(c), HHCNS-BC, CPHQ, owner of CAP Consulting, LLC, Nancy Allen, BSN, RNC, CMC, founder and CEO of Solutions for Care, Inc., and Barbara Piskor, MPH, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, owner of BKP HealthCare Resources 


Click here to access the recording in the UP Event Archives.


UP News & Highlights

Many people believe that the suicide rate increases during the holidays. 
Actually, research shows that is just a myth, promoted by media.  The CDC reports an
analysis found 50% of articles written during the 2009-2010 holiday season perpetuated the
myth (CDC, 2011).  December actually has fewer suicides and some studies suggest that
Christmas adds a "protective" factor through the holidays.  Suicide actually peaks in the
spring and the fall.

Depression, mood disorders, and substance abuse do increase during December.  Social
isolation is the biggest predictor of depression during this time of the year.  Many of our
elderly or disabled patients feel disconnected, excluded, or even overwhelmed with holiday

This blog looks at the following topics:
  • Facts & Statistics:  The Truth About the Holiday Suicide Myth
  • Social Isolation
  • Grieving During the Holidays
  • Dealing with Holiday Depression
  • Suicide Risk
Encourage your staff to assess more carefully signs and symptoms of depression for elders
who are isolated and include more intervention strategies to assist the patients in need.

Woodward, A.T., Taylor, R.J., Abelson, J.M., and Matusko, N., 2013. Depression and Anxiety
DOI: 10.1002/da.22041

This article discusses the differences for major depressive disorders (MDD) including
African-Americans and Black Caribbean populations.  
Lifetime Rates of MDD
  • Non-Hispanic Whites - 24%
  • Black Caribbean's - 23%
  • African-Americans - 17%
Caribbean Gender Lifetime Rates of MDD
  • Males - 35%
  • Women - 10%
These findings are opposite of that found in most populations (e.g., Non-Hispanic whites or
African-Americans) where women have typically higher rates.

Common comorbidities were found with the MDD group across all three race/ethnicity groups
including high blood pressure, arthritis, ulcers, and asthma at similar rates.  Additionally
there were similar mental health comorbidities across race/ethnicity groups:
  • Anxiety disorders - 56%
  • Lifetime dysthymia  -  50%
  • Lifetime suicidal ideation  - 48%
  • Lifetime posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - 45%
The article states that more research is needed for older African-Americans to ensure the treatment is appropriate and to identify underlying causes. 

Tools/Resources of the Month


CHAMP - Advancing Home Care Excellence  
For more information or to suggest future UP topics or speakers, please contact us at hhqi@wvmi.org.
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Click here for more information about the HHQI National Campaign.