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Health & wellness

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Most gun injuries in young children deemed accidental

The majority of children under age 10 who were hospitalized for gun-related reasons in 2009 were treated for accidental injuries, while among 10- to 19-year-olds, the majority were victims of gun violence.

Researchers at Yale and Boston universities found that 7,391 patients under age 20 were admitted to US hospitals in 2009 because of gun-related injuries — about 20 children per day.

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The most common injuries were open wounds, followed by fractures and internal organ damage. More than 6 percent of the children taken to the hospital died from their injuries.

The findings suggest that pediatricians should counsel parents of even their youngest patients about gun safety, such as safe storage of firearms, the researchers wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: The majority of children under age 10 who were hospitalized for gun-related reasons in 2009 were treated for accidental injuries.

CAUTIONS: The study did not determine how the children obtained firearms and whether the weapons were improperly stored.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Pediatrics, online Jan. 27

Music video therapy may help adolescent cancer patients cope

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A type of music therapy may help adolescents and young adults with cancer cope with their disease, according to a new study.

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine and Duke University randomly assigned 113 patients aged 11 to 24 who were undergoing stem-cell transplant treatments to either participate in “therapeutic music video” therapy or listen to audiobooks. The music video therapy involved writing song lyrics or producing videos about the patient’s experience as well as about people or things they valued. Music therapists administered six sessions to both groups over three weeks.

The patients were interviewed about their mood, relationships, and coping skills at the start of the study, after the final session, and then 100 days later. After the final interview, those who received the music therapy had better coping skills and felt more positive than those who had listened to audiobooks. The music video therapy group was more likely to report better relationships with their family and feeling more socially connected. The findings suggest that this type of music therapy could help young patients with cancer build resilience.

The researchers also interviewed the patients’ parents and found that parents of those who created videos had better insight into their child’s experiences.

BOTTOM LINE: A type of music therapy may help adolescents and young adults with cancer cope with their disease.

CAUTIONS: The study relied on self-reports from the patients about their mood and ability to cope, which might not always be accurate. The results may have also been
biased because the therapists knew which type of intervention the patients were assigned.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Cancer, online Jan. 27

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