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Association between First Trimester Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein–A (PAPP-A) and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Development

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:27pm

Background: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication with significant cardiometabolic consequences for mothers and offspring. Previous research from our group suggests that adipose tissue IGFBP-5 and its unique metalloprotease PAPP-A (Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein-A) may play mechanistic roles in GDM development by regulating functional IGF-1 levels and lipid storage and metabolism.

Aim: To examine the relationship between circulating PAPP-A levels and GDM development. We hypothesized that high first trimester PAPP-A levels would be associated with decreased GDM risk.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of women delivering singleton gestations at UMass Memorial Healthcare (2009, 2010, 2014, 2015) was assembled by abstracting electronic medical records. PAPP-A was measured in first trimester (11-14 weeks), and reported as quartiles of multiples of the mean (MoM) based on gestational age and adjusted for maternal weight and race/ethnicity. GDM diagnosis based on standard 2-step protocol (~24-28 weeks; failed 50g 1hr glucola screen then ≥2 abnormal values per Carpenter-Coustan criteria on 100g 3hr glucose tolerance test). Crude and multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models estimated the association between PAPP-A MoM quartiles and GDM.

Results: Women (N=1,251) were 29.7 (SD:5.7) years old and 12.5 (SD:0.6) weeks gestation at PAPP-A measurement. 7.6% (n=95) developed GDM. Median PAPP-A MoM were 0.7 (inter-quartile range [IQR]=0.5-1.0) among women with GDM and 0.9 (IQR=0.6-1.3) among controls; 39% versus 23% were in the 1st quartile, respectively. After adjusting for pre-pregnancy body mass index, nuchal translucency, crown rump length, smoking status, and parity, women with PAPP-A MoM in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quartiles had 52% (OR=0.48, 95%CI=0.26-0.88), 45% (OR=0.55, 95%CI=0.30-0.99) and 73% (OR=0.27, 95%CI=0.13-0.53) lower odds of GDM compared to women in the 1st quartile.

Conclusion: Higher PAPP-A MoM levels were associated with lower GDM risk. Future studies will assess whether higher PAPP-A levels are associated with enhanced IGF-1 signaling and improved pregnancy metabolic homeostasis.

Treatment of bacterial skin infections in ED observation units: factors influencing prescribing practice

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:27pm

OBJECTIVE: The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) publishes evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections. How closely physicians follow these guidelines is unknown, particularly in the emergency department observation unit (EDOU) where increasing numbers of patients are treatment for these infections. Our objectives were to describe (1) the antibiotic treatment patterns EDOU patients, (2) physicians' adherence to the IDSA guidelines, and (3) factors that influence physician's prescribing practices.

METHODS: This prospective cohort enrolled adult patients discharged from an EDOU at an academic medical center after treatment for a skin or soft tissue infection. Information was collected from chart review and patient interview pertaining to the patient's sociodemographic characteristics, presenting illness, and antibiotic treatment regimens. Treatment regimens were compared with national guidelines.

RESULTS: The study included 193 patients of which only 43% were treated according to IDSA guidelines, 42% were overtreated, and 15% were undertreated. Women were more likely to be undertreated (relative risk, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-2.06), whereas patients 50 years and older were at risk for overtreatment (relative risk, 1.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-2.02). Women also received shorter courses of antibiotic therapy with an average of 9.6 days of treatment compared with 10.6 days for men.

CONCLUSIONS: Physician antibiotic prescribing practices demonstrated poor adherence to IDSA guidelines and were influenced by the patient's age and sex. Standardized antibiotic protocols for treatment of skin and soft tissue infections to IDSA guidelines in the EDOU would minimize physician bias.

Positive surgical margins in radical prostatectomy patients do not predict long-term oncological outcomes: results from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) cohort

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:27pm

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of positive surgical margins (PSMs) on long-term outcomes after radical prostatectomy (RP), including metastasis, castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective study of 4 051 men in the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) cohort treated by RP from 1988 to 2013. Proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of PSMs in predicting biochemical recurrence (BCR), CRPC, metastases, and PCSM. To determine if PSMs were more predictive in certain patients, analyses were stratified by pathological Gleason score, stage, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level.

RESULTS: The median (interquartile range) follow-up was 6.6 (3.2-10.6) years and 1 127 patients had > 10 years of follow-up. During this time, 302 (32%) men had BCR, 112 (3%) developed CRPC, 144 (4%) developed metastases, and 83 (2%) died from prostate cancer. There were 1 600 (40%) men with PSMs. In unadjusted models, PSMs were significantly associated with all adverse outcomes: BCR, CRPC, metastases and PCSM (all P < /= 0.001). After adjusting for demographic and pathological characteristics, PSMs were associated with increased risk of only BCR (HR 1.98, P < 0.001), and not CRPC, metastases, or PCSM (HR < /=1.29, P > 0.18). Similar results were seen when stratified by pathological Gleason score, stage, or PSA level, and when patients who underwent adjuvant radiotherapy were excluded.

CONCLUSIONS: PSMs after RP are not an independent risk factor for CRPC, metastasis, or PCSM overall or within any subset. In the absence of other high-risk features, PSMs alone may not be an indication for adjuvant radiotherapy.

Continuing challenges in the diagnosis and management of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:26pm

The diagnosis and management of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) have changed dramatically since the introduction of video capsule endoscopy (VCE) followed by deep enteroscopy and other imaging technologies in the last decade. Significant advances have been made, yet there remains room for improvement in our diagnostic yield and treatment capabilities for recurrent OGIB. In this review, we will summarize the latest technologies for the diagnosis of OGIB, limitations of VCE, technological enhancement in VCE, and different management options for OGIB.

CT in the Emergency Department: A Real-Time Study of Changes in Physician Decision Making

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:26pm

Purpose: To determine how physicians' diagnoses, diagnostic uncertainty, and management decisions are affected by the results of computed tomography (CT) in emergency department settings.

Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board and compliant with HIPAA. Data were collected between July 12, 2012, and January 13, 2014. The requirement to obtain patient consent was waived. In this prospective, four-center study, patients presenting to the emergency department who were referred for CT with abdominal pain, chest pain and/or dyspnea, or headache were identified. Physicians were surveyed before and after CT to determine the leading diagnosis, diagnostic confidence (on a scale of 0% to 100%), alternative "rule out" diagnosis, and management decisions. Primary measures were the proportion of patients for whom the leading diagnosis or admission decision changed and median changes in diagnostic confidence. Secondary measures addressed alternative diagnoses and return-to-care visits (eg, to emergency department) at 1-month follow-up. Regression analysis was used to identify associations between primary measures and site and participant characteristics.

Results: Both surveys were completed for 1280 patients by 245 physicians. The leading diagnosis changed in 235 of 460 patients with abdominal pain (51%), 163 of 387 with chest pain and/or dyspnea (42%), and 103 of 433 with headache (24%). Pre-CT diagnostic confidence was inversely associated with the likelihood of a diagnostic change (P < .0001). Median changes in confidence were substantial (increases of 25%, 20%, and 13%, respectively, for patients with abdominal pain, chest pain and/or dyspnea, and headache; P < .0001); median post-CT confidence was high (95% for all three groups). CT helped confirm or exclude at least 95% of alternative diagnoses. Admission decisions changed in 116 of 457 patients with abdominal pain (25%), 72 of 387 with chest pain and/or dyspnea (19%), and 81 of 426 with headache (19%). During follow-up, 70 of 450 patients with abdominal pain (15%), 53 of 387 with chest pain and/or dyspnea (14%), and 49 of 433 with headache (11%) returned for the same indication. In general, changes in leading diagnosis, diagnostic confidence, and admission decisions were not well explained with site or participant characteristics.

Conclusion: Physicians' diagnoses and admission decisions changed frequently after CT, and diagnostic uncertainty was alleviated.

Projected Effects of Radiation-Induced Cancers on Life Expectancy in Patients Undergoing CT Surveillance for Limited-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Markov Model

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:25pm

OBJECTIVE: Patients with limited-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) undergo frequent posttreatment surveillance CT examinations, raising concerns about the cumulative magnitude of radiation exposure. The purpose of this study was to project radiation-induced cancer risks relative to competing risks of HL and account for the differential timing of each.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We adapted a previously developed Markov model to project lifetime mortality risks and life expectancy losses due to HL versus radiation-induced cancers in HL patients undergoing surveillance CT. In the base case, we modeled 35-year-old men and women undergoing seven CT examinations of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis over 5 years. Radiation-induced cancer risks and deaths for 17 organ systems were modeled using an organ-specific approach, accounting for specific anatomy exposed at CT. Cohorts of 20-, 50-, and 65-year-old men and women were evaluated in secondary analyses. Markov chain Monte Carlo methods were used to estimate the uncertainty of radiation risk projections.

RESULTS: For 35-year-old adults, we projected 3324/100,000 (men) and 3345/100,000 (women) deaths from recurrent lymphoma and 245/100,000 (men, 95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 121-369) and 317/100,000 (women, 95% UI: 202-432) radiation-induced cancer deaths. Discrepancies in life expectancy losses between HL (428 days in men, 482 days in women) and radiation-induced cancers (11.6 days in men, [95% UI: 5.7-17.5], 15.6 days in women [95% UI: 9.8-21.4]) were proportionately greater because of the delayed timing of radiation-induced cancers relative to recurrent HL. Deaths and life expectancy losses from radiation-induced cancers were highest in the youngest cohorts.

CONCLUSION: Given the low rate of radiation-induced cancer deaths associated with CT surveillance, modest CT benefits would justify its use in patients with limited-stage HL.

Radiation exposure from CT-guided ablation of renal masses: effects on life expectancy

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:25pm

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to project the effects of radiation exposure on life expectancy (LE) in patients who opt for CT-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) instead of surgery for renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS. We developed a decision-analytic Markov model to compare LE losses attributable to radiation exposure in hypothetical 65-year-old patients who undergo CT-guided RFA versus surgery for small ( < /= 4 cm) RCC. We incorporated mortality risks from RCC, radiation-induced cancers (for procedural and follow-up CT scans), and all other causes; institutional data informed the RFA procedural effective dose. Radiation-induced cancer risks were generated using an organ-specific approach. Effects of varying model parameters and of dose-reduction strategies were evaluated in sensitivity analysis.

RESULTS. Cumulative RFA exposures (up to 305.2 mSv for one session plus surveillance) exceeded those from surgery (up to 87.2 mSv). In 65-year-old men, excess LE loss from radiation-induced cancers, comparing RFA to surgery, was 11.7 days (14.6 days for RFA vs 2.9 days for surgery). Results varied with sex and age; this difference increased to 14.6 days in 65-year-old women and to 21.5 days in 55-year-old men. Dose-reduction strategies that addressed follow-up rather than procedural exposure had a greater impact. In 65-year-old men, this difference decreased to 3.8 days if post-RFA follow-up scans were restricted to a single phase; even elimination of RFA procedural exposure could not achieve equivalent benefits.

CONCLUSION. CT-guided RFA remains a safe alternative to surgery, but with decreasing age, the higher burden of radiation exposure merits explicit consideration. Dose-reduction strategies that target follow-up rather than procedural exposure will have a greater impact.

The relationship between coping styles in response to unfair treatment and understanding of diabetes self-care

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:25pm

PURPOSE: This study examined the relationship between coping style and understanding of diabetes self-care among African American and white elders in a southern Medicare-managed care plan.

METHODS: Participants were identified through a diabetes-related pharmacy claim or ICD-9 code and completed a computer-assisted telephone survey in 2006-2007. Understanding of diabetes self-care was assessed using the Diabetes Care Profile Understanding (DCP-U) scale. Coping styles were classified as active (talk about it/take action) or passive (keep it to yourself). Linear regression was used to estimate the associations between coping style with the DCP-U, adjusting for age, sex, education, and comorbidities. Based on the conceptual model, 4 separate categories were established for African American and white participants who displayed active and passive coping styles.

RESULTS: Of 1420 participants, the mean age was 73 years, 46% were African American, and 63% were female. Most respondents (77%) exhibited active coping in response to unfair treatment. For African American participants in the study, active coping was associated with higher adjusted mean DCP-U scores when compared to participants with a passive coping style. No difference in DCP-U score was noted among white participants on the basis of coping style.

CONCLUSIONS: Active coping was more strongly associated with understanding of diabetes self-care among older African Americans than whites. Future research on coping styles may give new insights into reducing diabetes disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.

Clostridium difficile infection after colorectal surgery: a rare but costly complication

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:25pm

BACKGROUND: The incidence and virulence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) are on the rise. The characteristics of patients who develop CDI following colorectal resection have been infrequently studied.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We utilized the University HealthSystem Consortium database to identify adult patients undergoing colorectal surgery between 2008 and 2012. We examined the patient-related risk factors for CDI and 30-day outcomes related to its occurrence.

RESULTS: A total of 84,648 patients met our inclusion criteria, of which the average age was 60 years and 50% were female. CDI occurred in 1,266 (1.5%) patients during the years under study. The strongest predictors of CDI were emergent procedure, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and major/extreme APR-DRG severity of illness score. CDI was associated with a higher rate of complications, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, longer preoperative inpatient stay, 30-day readmission rate, and death within 30 days compared to non-CDI patients. Cost of the index stay was, on average, $14,130 higher for CDI patients compared with non-CDI patients.

CONCLUSION: Emergent procedures, higher severity of illness, and inflammatory bowel disease are significant risk factors for postoperative CDI in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Once established, CDI is associated with worse outcomes and higher costs. The poor outcomes of these patients and increased costs highlight the importance of prevention strategies targeting high-risk patients.

Clinical and financial impact of hospital readmissions after colorectal resection: predictors, outcomes, and costs

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:24pm

BACKGROUND: After passage of the Affordable Care Act, 30 -day hospital readmissions have come under greater scrutiny. Excess readmissions for certain medical conditions and procedures now result in penalizations on all Medicare reimbursements.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to define the risk factors, outcomes, and costs of 30-day readmissions after colorectal surgery.

DESIGN: Adults undergoing colorectal surgery were studied using data from the University HealthSystem Consortium. Univariate and multivariable analyses were used to identify patient-related risk factors for, and 30-day outcomes of, readmission after colorectal surgery.

SETTINGS: This study was conducted at an academic hospital and its affiliates.

PATIENTS: Adults > /=18 years of age who underwent colorectal surgery for cancer, diverticular disease, IBD, or benign tumors between 2008 and 2011 were included in this study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Readmission within 30 days of index discharge was the main outcome measured.

RESULTS: A total of 70,484 patients survived the index hospitalization after colorectal surgery; 9632 (13.7%) were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. The strongest independent predictors of readmission were length of stay > /=4 days (OR 1.44; 95% CI 1.32-1.57), stoma (OR 1.54; 95% CI 1.46-1.51), and discharge to skilled nursing (OR 1.62; 95% CI 1.49-1.76) or rehabilitation facility (OR 2.93; 95% CI 2.53-3.40). Of those readmitted, half of the readmissions occurred within 7 days, 13% required the intensive care unit, 6% had a reoperation, and 2% died during the readmission stay. The median combined total direct hospital cost was more than 2 times higher ($26,917 vs $13,817; p < 0.001) for readmitted than for nonreadmitted patients.

LIMITATIONS: Follow-up was limited to 30 days after initial discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: Readmissions after colorectal resection occur frequently and incur a significant financial burden on the health-care system. Future studies aimed at targeted interventions for high-risk patients may reduce readmissions and curb escalating health-care costs.

Hyperspectral Imaging for Burn Depth Assessment in an Animal Model

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:24pm

Differentiating between superficial and deep-dermal (DD) burns remains challenging. Superficial-dermal burns heal with conservative treatment; DD burns often require excision and skin grafting. Decision of surgical treatment is often delayed until burn depth is definitively identified. This study's aim is to assess the ability of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) to differentiate burn depth.

METHODS: Thermal injury of graded severity was generated on the dorsum of hairless mice with a heated brass rod. Perfusion and oxygenation parameters of injured skin were measured with HSI, a noninvasive method of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, at 2 minutes, 1, 24, 48 and 72 hours after wounding. Burn depth was measured histologically in 12 mice from each burn group (n = 72) at 72 hours.

RESULTS: Three levels of burn depth were verified histologically: intermediate-dermal (ID), DD, and full-thickness. At 24 hours post injury, total hemoglobin (tHb) increased by 67% and 16% in ID and DD burns, respectively. In contrast, tHb decreased to 36% of its original levels in full-thickness burns. Differences in deoxygenated and tHb among all groups were significant (P < 0.001) at 24 hours post injury.

CONCLUSIONS: HSI was able to differentiate among 3 discrete levels of burn injury. This is likely because of its correlation with skin perfusion: superficial burn injury causes an inflammatory response and increased perfusion to the burn site, whereas deeper burns destroy the dermal microvasculature and a decrease in perfusion follows. This study supports further investigation of HSI in early burn depth assessment.

Inpatient versus outpatient cleft lip repair and alveolar bone grafting: a cost analysis

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:23pm

BACKGROUND: The lifetime cost of a child with an orofacial cleft is estimated at $101,000, which amounts to $697 million total for those born each year with orofacial clefts. There has been a trend toward outpatient procedures for cleft lip repair (CLR) and alveolar bone grafting (ABG), and studies have shown no disparities in safety or outcome between inpatient and ambulatory treatment. The financial implications of outpatient versus inpatient procedures have not been compared.

METHODS: Financial data were collected for outpatient (n = 33) and inpatient (n = 2) CLR, as well as outpatient (n = 7) and inpatient (n = 5) ABG during a 5-year period at our institution. We examined hospital charges and reimbursement for these procedures by private insurance plans and Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) plans.

RESULTS: The average total reimbursements for inpatient and outpatient CLR were similar at $6848 and $5557, respectively. Average facility reimbursement for CLR was greater for inpatient ($5344) than outpatient ($4291) procedures. Average professional reimbursement was similar between inpatient ($1504) and outpatient ($1266) CLR.For ABG, the average total inpatient reimbursement was $14,573, whereas outpatient was $8877. Average facility reimbursements were greater for inpatient ($12,398) than outpatient ($7183) ABG. Average professional reimbursement was similar between inpatient ($2175) and outpatient ($1693) ABG, with 35% and 31% of charges reimbursed, respectively.A substantial difference existed between reimbursements based on insurance types for both outpatient CLR and outpatient ABG. On average for CLR, commercial payers reimbursed 52% ($7344) of overall charges, whereas Medicaid and MMC reimbursed 9% ($1447). For ABG, commercial payers reimbursed an average of 78% ($11,950) of overall charges, whereas Medicaid and MMC reimbursed 10% ($1192).

CONCLUSIONS: Fewer patients' insurance companies are reimbursing for inpatient stays; in many cases, even patients who remain hospitalized up to 48 hours are treated as "day surgery" from a reimbursement perspective. For outpatient surgery, a greater percentage of CLR and ABG charges were successfully recouped compared to inpatient surgery. Awareness of higher payment for inpatient surgery and potential savings through use of the outpatient setting is crucial for hospitals and the US health care system as a whole.

Why Publish in the Journal of eScience Librarianship?

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 11:42am

Promotional flyer for the Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB), an open access, peer-reviewed journal published by the Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Medical School. JeSLIB advances the theory and practice of librarianship with a special focus on services related to data-driven research in the physical, biological, social, and medical sciences, including public health.

Improving Viral Protease Inhibitors to Counter Drug Resistance

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 2:10pm

Drug resistance is a major problem in health care, undermining therapy outcomes and necessitating novel approaches to drug design. Extensive studies on resistance to viral protease inhibitors, particularly those of HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease, revealed a plethora of information on the structural and molecular mechanisms underlying resistance. These insights led to several strategies to improve viral protease inhibitors to counter resistance, such as exploiting the essential biological function and leveraging evolutionary constraints. Incorporation of these strategies into structure-based drug design can minimize vulnerability to resistance, not only for viral proteases but for other quickly evolving drug targets as well, toward designing inhibitors one step ahead of evolution to counter resistance with more intelligent and rational design.

The Role of Librarians in Data Science: A Call to Action

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 11:21am

Many academic institutions and their libraries have developed research data services, but sometimes institutional objectives, professional organizations, and librarians’ current and future roles aren’t always in sync. In this issue of the Journal of eScience Librarianship, librarians report on moving forward with various services, but frequently face institutional and professional obstacles.

Health Policy 101: A Video for Future Clinicians

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 4:18pm

During my two-week health policy clerkship, my interprofessional group learned a tremendous amount about the current state of health policy. When speaking to our peers, it was clear that many students, both in the GSN and medical school, knew very little about this topic. Our group realized that clinicians are the heart of moving this issue forward, and therefore, educating future clinicians is critical.

When attempting to locate educational tools for future clinicians on health policy, very little was available. This discovery became the reason why I chose to develop an online resource for future clinicians. Due to my previous career in marketing, I determined that a short video, that is easily accessible online, would be a great way to educate current and future UMass Medical students.

The goal of the video is to educate current and future UMass Medical students on the current state of health policy in Massachusetts, and motivate students to become an activate participant in the policy transformation discussion.

The video is available online by clicking here: https://youtu.be/HKVraUGeeFs

For any questions about the video, please contact Stephanie.salvi@umassmed.edu.

Adolescent Sexual Health in Barre, Massachusetts

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 4:18pm

Like many public school systems across the country, cuts to funding have impacted the availability of sexual health education for youth in Barre, Massachusetts. Barre Family Health Center, a federally qualified community health center, in partnership with students from University of Massachusetts Medical School are attempting to fill the gap with Girl Talk!, a curriculum developed to promote empowerment, self-awareness and health to youth. Girl Talk! is a 10 week program for girls ages 10 to 12, focusing on sexual health while also promoting self-esteem, safety & communication through dynamic activities. We evaluated the efficacy of the program using qualitative interviews with participants and their parents. Based on initial data from the inaugural session, several topics have been added to the curriculum including bullying, self-harm, safe social media use, and eating disorders. We have also begun conducting a needs assessment for building a program to include boys, called Guy Talk!. This curriculum will parallel Girl Talk! with particular attention to the needs that boys have surrounding sexual health. To reach more of the community and make sexual health information more available to youth, we have developed a multi-faceted approach by building a partnership with the local high school, parents, and student groups. We feel this comprehensive approach to sexual health promotion in the community, which connects the local health center, high school, and youth is both sustainable and essential for the health of individuals, families, and community.

Family Practice Based Interventions to Reduce Stress in Parents

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 4:18pm

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders typically diagnosed before the age of three that effect the child’s behavior, communication and social skills. Although a pediatric neuropsychologist often confirms a diagnosis of this disorder, the primary care provider is highly involved in the ongoing care of the autistic child. It is well researched that parenting a child with ASD is correlated with high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. While the current interventions for the child with ASD vastly improve the child lifetime outcomes, there are few programs in place beyond “support group” to address the specific mental health needs of the parent caring for a child with ASD. This research asks how a family-practice-based peer support group with rotations of primary care providers, nursing staff, occupational/physical therapists, and mental health counselors compared to standard ASD intervention alone affects the stress experienced by parents of children with autism over a one year period. A literature search of PubMed, The Cochrane Library, Scopus, Eric and PsychINFO yielded six appropriate articles for a literature review. The outcomes of these studies were reviewed, compared and summarized, and it was concluded that although the interventions examined in the literature varied in modality, length and setting, there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the above mentioned intervention would result in decreased stress in parents of children with ASD. Further research is needed to determine how best to determine which modes of intervention are most appropriate for specific stressful triggers.