VOLUME 38, NO. 1 • MARCH 2021
Tzung-Jeng Hwang, IPA Bulletin Editor-in-Chief
As of 2 March 2021, more than 114 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. Although several vaccines have been launched consecutively, we still don't know whether the current moment is the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. Despite these challenges, the IPA board of directors and sub-committees continue to create a series of programs and initiatives amid the pandemic, including webinars, the IPA café, the Young Researchers Network (YRN), membership survey, and partnerships with other international organizations, etc. Furthermore, the 2021 IPA Congress will be held virtually in addition to a live joint IPA/Japanese Psychiatric Society Regional Meeting in Kyoto, Japan. Through these web-based offerings and programs, the IPA hopes to provide our members with ongoing education and opportunities for staying connected.
In this issue, there are nine articles: five in "Research and Practice," three in "Around the World," and one in the "Technology Corner." In "Research and Practice," Drs. Victoria Ahmad and Rita Khoury (Lebanon) review the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder in older adults, a very relevant topic after the devastating 2020 Beirut explosion. They remind us how clinical presentations may be different from those in young adults. Dr. Mark Rapoport (Canada) discusses the topic of driving for those with dementia including aspects of assessment, risk factors, and self-regulation. Dr. Migita M. D'cruz et al. (India) explores rarely discussed issues for individuals with dementia with an article on intimacy and sexuality. She points out that older adults with dementia often continue to be sexually active, and retain the capacity to consent until progressing into moderate stages of dementia. Dr. Verbeek et al. (The Netherlands) describe their work using a hybrid learning module to facilitate the cultural change toward individualized dementia care in green care farms and other nursing homes. Dr. Nahathai Wongpakaran et al. (Thailand) introduce their work on developing multifaceted cognitive training in mild neurocognitive disorder (NCD). They show that this type of culturally-adapted cognitive training is well accepted and effective for community-dwelling older adults with mild NCD.
Similar to the last issue, the three articles in "Around the World" all address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Clarissa Giebel (UK) discusses research initiatives on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of older adults' in the low- and middle-income country (LMIC), Columbia. She describes a shortage of evidence on the impacts of restrictive measures in LMICs. Dr. David Sanagustín Bosqued (Spain) reports on the prevalence of delirium and associated increased mortality in older adults with COVID-19. He also reports their study findings on the risk factors of delirium in older adults. Finally, Dr. Laura Valzolgher (Italy) reviews nutritional strategies for patients affected by Sars-Cov-2 infection. This issue is crucial for older adults with COVID-19, who are at increased risk of morbidity and mortality due to a higher rate of comorbid conditions.
In the Technology Corner, Ying-Jyun Shih and Dr. Yung-Jen Yang (Taiwan) update us on the use of bidet toilets for older adults. Despite fair acceptance in the general population, there is still dispute about the benefits and risks of bidet toilets with a lack of scientific evidence.
Thank you for your interest in the IPA Bulletin. We hope all our members stay healthy and safe. Please submit articles and share your thoughts and experiences with us! You can reach us at IPABulletin@ipa-online.org.