Students present research findings at 9th annual Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences

Michigan State University students Marissa Cortright and Emily Castillo presented a poster at the 9th annual Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences (Mid-SURE), held July 24 at Spartan Stadium. Their poster, “Perceived Invasiveness of Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions as Treatment for Clinical Depression,” presented research from an ongoing NIH BRAIN Initiative grant related to the ethical concerns and attitudes toward the use of psychiatric electroceutical interventions (PEIs) in treatment resistant depression.

Image description: Emily Castillo (left) and Marissa Cortright (right) pose for a photo with their poster at Mid-SURE on July 24. Photo courtesy of Peggy Anderson.

Cortright and Castillo, who are both majoring in neuroscience, have been working with MSU faculty mentors Laura Cabrera, Robyn Bluhm, Aaron McCright, and Eric Achytes. Their poster specifically addressed the invasiveness of multiple PEIs­—electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), and adaptive brain implants (ABI)—based on the analysis of semi-structured interviews with Michigan-based psychiatrists. Cortright and Castillo concluded that the results of the interview analysis “suggest that while physical features are key for assessments of invasiveness, psychological, emotional, and lifestyle effects also play an important role.”

Cortright and Castillo both enjoyed the experience of presenting at Mid-SURE. “It provided a positive and engaging environment to share my work on the project as well as develop my professional skills,” said Castillo, adding, “I left the day feeling inspired and excited to keep working on a topic that is not only important me, but relevant and meaningful to many others.”

With attendees and presenters from many institutions and disciplines, Mid-SURE provided an opportunity to share research and network with a wide variety of individuals. “Many people were excited to learn about the PEIs and the potential to help lots of patients with treatment resistant depression,” said Cortright. “I learned that many people were interested in other segments of our project, and were anticipating the further research and results. I also learned that many people had no idea that PEIs even existed, and were extremely interested in the psychiatrist perspective on these therapies.”

“By sharing the research findings, I learned how different backgrounds can influence how data is interpreted across different disciplines,” said Castillo. “For example, I had an interesting conversation with a chemist who was curious about how the use of magnets or electrical stimulation can alter the chemical balance of the brain and how that relates to invasiveness. I thought this was an interesting question and enjoyed learning about how he interpreted the data coming from a chemistry background.”

Castillo continued: “My interactions with the other students and professors sparked great conversations about the stigma surrounding PEIs and mental illness. It reminded me how critical this research is in educating the public and informing future guidelines and policies surrounding these treatments.”

As the second year of the project approaches, Cortright and Castillo look forward to continuing the research and analysis. “I’m looking forward to looking deeper into the other neuroethical considerations and understanding how these topics vary between psychiatrists, patients, and the general public,” shared Castillo.

Please visit the project webpage to learn more about the NIH BRAIN Initiative grant “Is the Treatment Perceived to be Worse than the Disease?: Ethical Concerns and Attitudes towards Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions,” led by Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera.

Dr. Cabrera presents poster at NEURON Symposium

Laura Cabrera photoCenter Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera recently traveled to Riga, Latvia to attend and present at the ERA-NET NEURON (Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research) Cofund Mid-Term Symposium. Dr. Cabrera presented the poster “Contemporary Psychiatric Neurosurgery: Updates on a Cross-National Comparison of Trends in Media Coverage and Public Attitudes.” Her co-authors are Merlin Bittlinger, Hayami Lou, Sabine Müller, and Judy Illes. Their research is part of an ongoing NEURON-funded project, “Media Coverage of Psychiatric Neurosurgery: Cross-national Investigations of Public Reactions and Attitudes.”

Poster Abstract: Understanding the exposure of patients and the public to contemporary trends in psychiatric neurosurgery is essential to understanding their views and receptivity to them. Toward this goal, we conducted an in-depth content analysis of media articles and reader comments on all types of psychiatric neurosurgery between 1960-2015. We used Factiva and media websites to compile full-length articles published in major newspapers and magazines from ERAnet consortium partners: Canada, the US, Germany, and Spain.
The final dataset comprised of 517 articles and 477 comments (Canada/USA: 201 articles, 183 comments; Germany: 156 articles, 115 comments; Spain: 160 articles, 179 comments). We coded inductively for themes and phenomena of interest. We found that coverage of psychiatric neurosurgery has increased and changed over time, although frequent references to historical milestones are retained. Deep brain stimulation and depression are the main focus. Risk is the disadvantage most commonly mentioned in articles from Canada/USA and Germany, and in reader comments across all countries. German articles almost uniquely, although still minimally, report on ethical issues such as identity and control. Over time, reporting becomes more positive. German media coverage is the most cautious, yet German reader comments are more favorable than those from Canada/USA.
While modern press reports about psychiatric neurosurgery reflect growing optimism, the public is divided. Ongoing studies will further inform the influence of media reporting trends on the values, perceptions, and hopes that people hold toward psychiatric neurosurgery, and the significant ways in which these views may shape policy-making for mental health care.


Best poster presentation at the The 37th Annual Michigan Family Medicine Research Day Conference

Kelly-blakeCenter Research Associate Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD, won best poster presentation for practitioner/faculty/teacher at the 37th Annual Michigan Family Medicine Research Day Conference on May 22, 2014 in Howell, MI.

Dr. Kelly-Blake presented the poster “African American patient’s perception of health information technology use at their doctor’s office: a qualitative analysis study.”

Authors: Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD; Masahito Jimbo, MD, PhD, MPH; Krystle Woods, PhD; Mack T. Ruffin, IV, MD, MPH

Background: With the strong push to accelerate the implementation of health information technology (HIT) in clinical settings, consideration must be given to the impact these interventions have on the quality and cost of care for every patient, especially for those most likely to experience disparities.
Methods: Qualitative analysis of semi-structured phone interviews with 12 African American patients (6 female; 6 male) participating in the Decision Aid to Technologically Enhance Shared Decision Making (DATES) (Jimbo, PI, R01CA52413) study to explore their perceptions and concerns about the use and acceptability of HIT use in healthcare settings.
Results: Preliminary interview analysis identified three common themes in patient comments concerning the use of health information technology in their particular health care setting: 1) concern about security and privacy; 2) increased and immediate access to provider; and 3) improved capacity to share medical information with other doctors.
Conclusions: Appropriate implementation strategies must include patient input and experience as health care organizations adopt, expand, and tailor their HIT systems.