A new word in medical terminology could help doctors save lives: A ‘stereotype’
A new term in medical language could help physicians save lives, the American Ophthalmology Society (AOS) announced on Tuesday.
The term is ‘Stereotype-Based Cognitive Therapy,’ or STCT, and was first used in the 1980s by Dr. David Blanck to help people learn how to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Blank’s term, which has been used for decades in the field, is now widely used in other medical fields, including psychiatry and neurosurgery.
In a press release, AOS said STCT is the best known and most accepted term in the area, but that it is not without controversy.
“It’s not a new concept, but it has come under fire because it has been adopted by some people who don’t want to change the way they think about mental health,” AOS President John Ragan said in the release.
“For many people, STCT does not work and they continue to struggle to find a way to understand what they are experiencing and how to help them.”
The new word is ‘STCT-Based Therapy’ (STCT) and the association says it is a ‘stylistic, scientific term’ that can help physicians diagnose traumatic brain injuries and reduce the impact of TBI.
The association’s press release said that the term STCT-based therapy is ‘a very specific and powerful way of helping patients, families and clinicians understand the impact and severity of traumatic brain damage.’
It says that it has become a recognized term because it’s associated with a particular research method.
“The new term STCFT (Stereotyping-Based Cognition-Based Treatment) can help clinicians improve the lives of people who suffer from traumatic brain trauma, especially in their families and care providers,” the release says.
“This is a powerful, effective approach that has proven effective in the treatment of traumatic TBI.”
“The association has worked to help define the term and educate doctors on how to use it in practice,” said Dr. Paul E. Schmitt, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who is also the founding editor of the journal Applied Cognitive Therapy.
“We are excited that this word is so much easier to understand than the ‘stethoscope’ that many of us used to diagnose patients with TBI, or the ‘chamber of horrors.'”
Dr. Blanke and Dr. E. Michael Bierut, who both teach in the Johns Keck School of Engineering and Applied Science at Johns Hopkins, told Axios that they have been in communication with AOS about the issue and that they are planning to use the new word when they begin working with other research groups.
“We are very interested in working with the association to make sure that the STCT term is recognized and used widely,” Bieruets said.
In the release, Dr. Schmit said he hopes that AOS will work with the National Institutes of Health to develop a standard for the term.
“I am hopeful that they will take a very proactive approach to identifying and developing standards for STCT,” he said.
“When you start to make it easier for clinicians to identify people with traumatic brain disorders, it could make it more difficult for people to get treatment,” Blankel said.
“So, we need to ensure that it gets accepted in the medical community, which means getting it in the hands of doctors who have a clinical interest in treating people with this condition.”
The AOS statement also includes a list of questions for people interested in becoming stethologists, including:What is STCT?
How effective is it?
What is a stereotype?
What can people do to help?
How can I get started?
What are the risks and benefits of STCT.
The Association is asking people who are interested in participating in the research to visit a mental health clinic or an appointment with a trained clinical clinician.
To learn more about STCT and to sign up to receive the AOS newsletter, visit www.aos.org/stct-and-clinical-leadership.