About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.

  • Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging - Workshop Summary ... Released: May 16, 2014
    Despite the critical importance of communication, many older adults have hearing loss that interferes with their social interactions and enjoyment of life. People may miss words in a conversation, go to fewer public places, or worry about missing an alarm. Despite rapidly advancing technologies and innovative approaches to hearing health care, fewer than one in seven older Americans with hearing loss use hearing aids. In January 2014, the IOM and National Research Council held a workshop to examine the ways in which age-related hearing loss affects healthy aging, and how public and private stakeholders can work together to address hearing loss in older adults as a public health issue.
  • Improving and Accelerating Therapeutic Development for ... Released: November 25, 2013
    Although there is a high burden associated with nervous system disorders, development of new therapeutics remains stagnant. Over the last decade, fewer new drugs for nervous system disorders have garnered approval in comparison to other therapeutic areas. Current data suggest that drug development, from the start of a discovery program to regulatory approval, can take an average of 12 to 15 years. Building off of concepts discussed at a 2012 IOM workshop, the IOM Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a workshop to examine opportunities to accelerate early phases of drug development for nervous system drug discovery.
  • Financing Long-Term Services and Supports for Individuals ... Released: October 22, 2013
    At least 11 million adults with disabilities, limitations, and functional impairments in the United States receive long-term services and supports – such as assistance with eating, bathing, and dressing – in order to live independently. The financing of long-term services and supports has become a major issue in the United States. With the projected aging of the U.S. population, the number of individuals needing long-term services and supports is expected to increase substantially. Given the magnitude of the challenged posed by the financing of long-term services and supports, the IOM and National Research Council held a workshop in an effort to foster dialogue and confront issues of mutual interest and concern.
  • Neurodegeneration: Exploring Commonalities Across ... Released: October 03, 2013
    Neurodegenerative diseases – such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the United States due to the aging population. Implications of these diseases are grave, both for individual and family quality of life and for healthcare costs. Recent findings have revealed potential commonalities and parallelisms in genetic and cellular mechanisms across neurodegenerative diseases. In 2012, the IOM hosted a workshop to explore commonalities across neurodegenerative diseases and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration across the respective research and development communities.
  • Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course ... Released: September 10, 2013
    The IOM examined the quality of cancer care in the United States and concluded that the cancer care delivery system is in crisis due to a growing demand for cancer care, increasing complexity of treatment, a shrinking workforce, and rising costs. Changes across the board are urgently needed. All stakeholders – including cancer care teams, patients and their families, researchers, quality metrics developers, and payers, as well as HHS, other federal agencies, and industries – must reevaluate their current roles and responsibilities in cancer care and work together to develop a higher quality care delivery system. Working toward the recommendations outlined in this report, the cancer care community can improve the quality of life and outcomes for people facing a cancer diagnosis.
  • Strengthening Human Resources Through Development of ... Released: August 14, 2013
    Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the largest treatment gaps for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders in the world. The ability to provide adequate human resources for the delivery of essential interventions for MNS disorders is a critical barrier to bridging the treatment gap. In 2012, the IOM hosted a second workshop in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss candidate core competencies that providers might need to help ensure the effective delivery of services for MNS disorders. The workshop focused on candidate competencies for four MNS disorders that account for the greatest burden in low- and middle-income countries: depression, psychosis, epilepsy, and alcohol use disorders.
  • Fostering Independence, Participation, and Healthy Aging ... Released: April 18, 2013
    An increasingly important aspect of the social and environmental factors that determine whether an individual has a disability is the technology to which that person has access. Technology-driven assistive and adaptive products have improved functioning and quality of life for people of all ages. Furthermore, there is great potential for technology to increase a person’s disability-free years. The IOM-National Research Council Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence hosted a workshop to examine the ways in which technology can foster independence and healthy aging among working-age individuals with disabilities and among individuals who are developing disabilities while they age.
  • Improving the Utility and Translation of Animal Models for ... Released: February 08, 2013
    Animal models have provided significant information about the biology of nervous system disorders and have helped in the development of therapeutics; limitations, however, have also been identified. Effective treatment options that are also low in side effects are still lacking for many diseases. Many therapeutics show promise in preclinical animal models but then fail to produce expected results when tested in humans. The IOM held a workshop to discuss potential opportunities for maximizing the translation of effective therapies from animal models to clinical practice.
  • US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer ... Released: January 09, 2013
    The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it is far from the healthiest. For many years, Americans have been dying at younger ages than people in almost all other high-income countries. To gain a better understanding of this problem, the NIH asked the National Research Council and the IOM to investigate potential reasons for the U.S. health disadvantage and to assess its larger implications. No single factor can fully explain the U.S. health disadvantage. Without action to reverse current trends, the health of Americans will probably continue to fall behind that of people in other high-income countries.
  • The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older ... Released: July 10, 2012
    At least 5.6 million to 8 million – nearly one in five – older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to soar from 40.3 million in 2010 to 72.1 million by 2030, the aging of America holds profound consequences for the nation. Following its 2008 report highlighting the urgency of expanding and strengthening the geriatric health care workforce, the IOM was asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to undertake a complementary study on the geriatric mental health and substance use workforce. An expert committee assessed the needs of this population and the workforce that serves it.