2011-01-07 / Community

SJEH Psych M.D. Leads Prevention Review

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital psychiatrist Subramoniam Madhusoodanan, MD, was the guest editor of a special issue of the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry addressing preventive psychiatry which appeared on November 2010. Dr. Madhusoodanan also was the lead author of the journal’s special section on preventive psychiatry, which involved collaborative articles written by teams of doctors from New York University School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine of Cleveland, OH, and State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.

The teams participating in the review were led by: Mark Opler, PhD, New York University School of Medicine, who led a review on primary psychiatric prevention in children and adolescents; Martha Sajatovic, MD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, who led the review on primary prevention in special populations; and Ronald Brenner, MD, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, who led the team on primary prevention in psychiatry in adult populations. Dr. Madhusoodanan led the team which wrote the review on prevention in geriatric psychiatry.

According to Dr. Madhusoodanan, primary prevention of mental illness represents an approach that is a paradigm shift away from prevention to preemption of mental illness. In 2008, the National Institute of Mental Health announced a five-year plan to defeat mental illness, which includes prevention and early intervention strategies. Primary prevention strategies aim to reduce the incidence of an illness in the community and is directed at individuals at risk for developing a particular disorder. Universal prevention measures, which are directed to the entire population, include healthy eating and exercise. Selective measures target those with higherthan average risk factors, such as providing support for socially isolated elderly persons.

The purpose of stressing primary prevention of psychiatric illness, according to Dr. Madhusoodanan, was to highlight its current status, after so much past emphasis on secondary and tertiary prevention methods. In addition, because psychiatry residents receive limited training in preventive strategies, residents were included on all the authorial teams for the articles, improving awareness of this topic among early-career physicians.

Dr. Madhusoodanan is the Associate Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. He is a specialist in geriatric psychiatry and psychopharmacology. Dr. Madhusoodanan is the published author of more than a hundred of articles, book chapters, and abstracts on psychiatric illness in the elderly and other related topics. He has served as guest editor several times and is a member of the editorial boards of the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry and Current Drug Safety and has reviewed numerous journals.

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