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Physician Behaviors May Contribute to Disparities in Mental Health Care

HBNS STORY | December 3, 2014

The way medical doctors initially assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minority patients may contribute to known disparities in their use of mental health services, according to a new study in Health Services Research.

Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women

HBNS STORY | October 28, 2014

Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women. They also have lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Fecal Blood Test May Save More Lives Than Colonoscopy

HBNS STORY | October 21, 2014

Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. State public health programs could screen nearly eight times as many individuals and prevent nearly twice as many CRC cases by using fecal immunochemical testing, or FIT, instead of colonoscopies, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Nationality at Birth Plays a Role in U.S. Adult Vaccination Rates

HBNS STORY | October 14, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that foreign-born adult U.S. residents, who make up about 13 percent of the population, receive vaccinations at significantly lower rates than U.S.-born adults. This gap in care puts them at greater risk of exposure to several vaccine-preventable diseases.

Expanding Medicaid Increases Rural Health Care Access and Use

HBNS STORY | October 2, 2014

A new study in Health Services Research reveals that expanding Medicaid to cover more adults boosts health care access and use in rural populations.

'Be a Prepared Patient' Gets a New Look

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 1, 2014 | CFAH Staff

Finding good health care and making the most of it is critical for each of us. Yet all too often, reliable, unbiased information is hard to find and understand. On the redesigned Be a Prepared Patient website, we have collected trusted resources and tips to help people navigate their way through health and health care decisions and experiences...

Many Women Receive Unnecessary Pap Tests

HBNS STORY | September 30, 2014

As many as half to two-thirds of women who’ve undergone hysterectomies or are older than 65 years report receiving Pap tests for cervical cancer, despite recommendations against it, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Only Half of U.S. Adults Over 45 Are Screened for Diabetes

HBNS STORY | September 25, 2014

A new cross-sectional study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that only half of adults in the U.S. were screened for diabetes within the last three years, less than what is recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

What Health Care Consultants Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 10, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"At the end of the day, there is a growing recognition that we need people to take better care of themselves. Too much money is being spent on the consequences of unhealthy choices and on health care. We don't think that patient engagement is just the flavor of the week. The concept of how we can take more responsibility for our health and health care is not going away." – Janice Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems in South Kingstown, RI

Stress Is US

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 8, 2014 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn

"Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it," Lily Tomlin once quipped. So it's no surprise, then, that one-half of the people in the U.S. have had a major stressful event or experience in the last year. And health tops the list...

Poor Health Habits Linked to Financial Insecurity

HBNS STORY | September 4, 2014

Financial hardship, or feeling that one can’t make ends meet, may be more predictive of health risk behaviors than actual income levels for people with low-incomes, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Sexual Risk Behaviors of Hispanic Youth Vary by Language, Place of Birth

HBNS STORY | September 2, 2014

A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that the sexual risk behaviors of young Hispanic people living in the U.S. vary considerably with their degree of acculturation.

Seniors Face Barriers to Critical Dental Care

HBNS STORY | August 26, 2014

Poor oral health can have a negative impact on seniors’ overall health and well-being, but for many, there are significant barriers to visiting a dentist, finds a new report in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

What Employers and Purchaser Representatives Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 6, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"Employers have an opportunity to reduce barriers and support engagement because they sponsor health plans and can provide access to information, tools, technologies, incentives, and more. Employers have more ability to influence engagement than they often believe they have." – Michael Vittoria, Vice President, Corporate Benefits, MaineHealth, Portland, ME

What Community Health Leaders Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 23, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"When I think of patient engagement, I think of a partnership where people work together to figure out what the patient wants and how to support the process. Engagement is the knowledge base, working through the decisions and helping people to become full partners in their health outcomes." – June Simmons, MSW — Founding President and CEO, Partners in Care Foundation, San Fernando, CA

Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Saves Lives

HBNS STORY | July 15, 2014

A federal screening program markedly reduced death and illness from cervical cancer in underserved, low-income women but reached just 10 percent of the likely eligible population, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Stop the War on the Emergency Room (Fix the System Failure)

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 8, 2014 | Nick Dawson

The ED is convenient, it's open 24 hours, it does not require an appointment. So when the stomach bug or kitchen accident gets the best of you at 9:00 pm, and your doctor's office is closed, where are you going to go? And, yet, we still chide people – via reporting, casual comments and the communication of health systems – for using the ED for "non-emergent" needs. What I'd like to see is more hospitals flinging open the doors of their EDs and saying, "We'll take you, any time, for any reason, and you won't wait long or pay an arm and a leg"...

Patient Engagement: Here to Stay

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 1, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

What is patient engagement and what does it take to accomplish? With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CFAH set out to explore this concept as it was viewed by various diverse stakeholders. Our interviews with 35 key health care stakeholders lead to an impressive unity of opinion...

Little Progress Made in Reducing Health Disparities for People with Disabilities

HBNS STORY | June 26, 2014

Mental distress in people with disabilities is associated with increased prevalence of chronic illness and reduced access to health care and preventive care services, finds a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Life-Changing Events Can Lead to Less Physical Activity

HBNS STORY | June 5, 2014

Adults tend to engage in less leisure-time physical activity after changes in both lifestyle and physical status, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Cancer Screening: Understanding 'Relative Risk'

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 3, 2014 | Kenny Lin

I have offered before a few reasons for eligible patients to consider not getting screened for lung cancer. I concede, however, that reasonable people might conclude that the potential harms are outweighed by the benefit of reducing one's risk of dying by one-fifth. The next critical question that needs to be asked is: one-fifth of what?

Vitamin D with Calcium May Prevent Bone Fractures for High-Risk Seniors

HBNS STORY | May 29, 2014

For seniors over the age of 65, taking a daily supplement of vitamin D with calcium—but not vitamin D alone—can offer some protection against the risk of common bone fractures, according to an updated review from The Cochrane Library.

Social Support May Prevent PTSD in Heart Patients

HBNS STORY | May 20, 2014

Having a good social support system may help prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with heart disease, finds a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Obese Employees Cost Employers Thousands in Extra Medical Costs

HBNS STORY | May 13, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight.

How Much Is a Patient's Peace of Mind Worth?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 12, 2014 | Anne Polta

If something is medically useless, does it still have value if it gives the patient (and perhaps the clinician as well) some peace of mind? To many patients, this is no small thing. Unfortunately, it's also often abetted by consumer marketing that plays up the peace-of-mind aspect of certain tests while remaining silent about the limited benefit, the possible risk and the clinical complexity that may be part of the larger picture...

Society of Behavioral Medicine Announces Inaugural 'Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement'

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 30, 2014 | CFAH Staff

Dedicated to promoting behavioral medicine research and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and populations, Society of Behavioral Medicine created this award to recognize an individual who has made a pivotal contribution to research, practice or policy in the field of health engagement.

Insurance Status Affects Where Young Adults Seek Health Care

HBNS STORY | April 22, 2014

Perhaps due to a lack of or inconsistent insurance coverage, young adults age 18 to 25 tend to go to the doctor’s office less often than children or adolescents, yet have higher rates of emergency room use, finds a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Shared Decision Making: Blending Beliefs and Attitudes With Evidence

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 7, 2014 | Don S. Dizon

My patient, Mary, was a 28-year-old woman who had completed chemotherapy for stage II breast cancer. After discussing surveillance, frequency of follow-up and ASCO guidelines, I recommended against further testing or imaging. Mary was well aware of the evidence, but she had different plans...

Tobacco Promotions Still Reaching Youth

HBNS STORY | April 1, 2014

Teens and young adults who are exposed to marketing materials for tobacco products, such as coupons and websites, were far more likely to begin smoking or to be current smokers than those not exposed, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The Other 'F' Word

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 6, 2014 | Jackie Fox

At my six-month checkup yesterday all was routine, other than my blood pressure being 131 over something when it's usually in the 115 range. Ten years ago I wouldn't have shared my fears at all, but thanks to early-stage breast cancer it's hard for my mind not to immediately go to the worst-case scenario...

The Person Responsible for Your Health Is...

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 27, 2014 | CFAH Staff

Is it our job alone to look after our health? Or do employers, insurers, for-profit companies and the government also share some responsibility to keep us healthy? One person's nanny state is another's public health salvation. There is no shortage of examples of opposing perspectives...

Hospitalization Increases Risk of Depression and Dementia for Seniors

HBNS STORY | February 27, 2014

People over age 65 who have been hospitalized are at significantly greater risk for dementia or depression, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.

Engagement From Patients' Perspective: Different Than Docs, Employers, Health Plans

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 26, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

The Prepared Patient Blog published over two hundred articles in 2013 about what it takes for people to get the most from health care and how the system can be improved to make it feasible for us to do so. Here's a recap of what engagement looks like to us – whether we are sick or well, whether we are caregivers or loved ones: Engagement is not easy and we can't do it alone. Patient engagement is not the same as compliance. It is not a cost-cutting strategy, and it is not one-size-fits-all.

Getting Help for Depression

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 20, 2014 | Be a Prepared Patient

Depression affects nearly one in ten Americans yet many people often go untreated. In fact, a recent study found that 70 percent of people surveyed with symptoms of depression received no treatment of any kind. Here's advice on how to get help...

African Americans' Concept of Health May Be More Than Physical

HBNS STORY | February 13, 2014

Some African-Americans rate their health as good, despite being overweight or having high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Health Inequalities Seen in Gays and Lesbians

HBNS STORY | February 11, 2014

People who identify as homosexual have several health disparities relative to their heterosexual peers, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Antibacterial Agent Boosts Toothpaste Effectiveness

HBNS STORY | January 9, 2014

Regular use of fluoride toothpaste containing triclosan, an antibacterial agent, reduces plaque, gingivitis and slightly reduces tooth decay compared to regular fluoride toothpaste, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library.

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 5): Do You Need a Yearly Checkup?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 30, 2013 | Be a Prepared Patient

In part five of our series, we look at the yearly check-up and offer resources for people who are trying to decide which preventive care services are right for them...

Pharmacy Staff Frequently Misinform Teens Seeking Emergency Contraception

HBNS STORY | December 19, 2013

A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that pharmacy staff frequently give teens misleading or incorrect information about emergency contraception that may prevent them from getting the medication.

Significant Economic Losses When Young Women Die From Breast Cancer

HBNS STORY | December 12, 2013

In 2008, breast cancer deaths in women under age 50 cost the economy $5.49 billion in productivity and resulted in an estimated 7.98 million years of potential life lost, finds a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Healthy Eating...Help!

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 27, 2013 | CFAH Staff

It isn't breaking news that exercising and eating a healthy diet can help improve your overall health and fitness, but that doesn't make it any easier for most of us to follow suit. These resources from CFAH's 'Be a Prepared Patient' can help...

The Costs of Being a Patient and a Doctor

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 19, 2013 | Jane Liu

My ultrasound came back "likely benign" with the recommendation that I follow up in six weeks to be sure. Over the next few weeks, I received one bill after another that totaled $1,000. Unable to pay, I felt abandoned by the system to which I had committed my career and did not call to schedule a second ultrasound...

Media Coverage of HPV Vaccine Boosts Reports of Adverse Effects

HBNS STORY | November 19, 2013

The number of adverse events reported for the HPV vaccine Gardasil® correlated with an increase in the number of media stories about the vaccine, finds a study in The Journal of Adolescent Health.

Quelling the Tide of Over-Testing

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 24, 2013 | Conversation Continues

Lately it seems that more health care insiders are advocating for a "less is more" approach for some screening tests. Cancer, dementia and kidney disease are a few examples. But will we just say "no"?

You're Not as Invincible as You Think

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 21, 2013 | Laurie Edwards

I see firsthand the sense of invincibility that accompanies youth. My students have little reason to believe the long days, the all-nighters, and the jam-packed academic and social lives they lead will catch up to them. It is easy to dismiss patients with chronic illness as the elderly — those who have lived long enough to acquire the inevitable diseases of longevity. This is an incomplete picture of the chronic illness population, however...

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 11, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

In this week's health news: Patient-doctor relationship affects diabetes care | Women in Appalachia at risk for late stage breast cancer | People with asthma need not fear exercise | Treating depression helps some smokers quit...

Cancer Survivorship: "I Call Me Lucky"

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 10, 2013 | Conversation Continues

"I have been treated for five different cancer diagnoses. Some would call me a survivor. I call me lucky," CFAH President Jessie Gruman observes in her lead post in the series, What I Wish I'd Known Earlier About Cancer Survivorship.

Five Years Later: Zigzagging Toward Acceptance

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 8, 2013 | Kathi Kolb

"Your biopsy is positive." None of us ever forgets when we first heard some version of that phrase. I heard it five years ago today...

Unaccompanied Teens Often Unable to Get Needed Vaccines

HBNS STORY | October 8, 2013

Health care providers say that older teens often go to the doctor without a parent who can provide consent for needed vaccinations, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

It May Not “Get Better” For Bisexual Teens

HBNS STORY | October 1, 2013

A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that bisexual teens may be at risk for suicide even into young adulthood.

Flu Shot Options: A Test of Patient Engagement?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 26, 2013 | Anne Polta

Talking about the flu vaccine used to be straightforward. But with the proliferation of vaccine options, it has become much more complicated. More options for consumers = better for everyone, right? Well...

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 20, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

In this weeks health news: Group exercise alleviates college stress | Maintain your weight in a matter of minutes | Education may be the key to fighting obesity | Men who binge at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Taking Care of Your Teeth

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Get Preventive Health Care

Advice for finding good dental care for you and your loved ones.

Treating Depression Helps Some Smokers Quit

HBNS STORY | September 19, 2013

Adding mood management strategies to smoking cessation programs helped people with depression or a history of depression quit smoking for longer periods than a standard program, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library

Women in Appalachia Have Higher Rates of Late Stage Breast Cancer

HBNS STORY | September 26, 2013

Older women living in the most deprived areas of the U.S. Appalachia had higher rates of late stage breast cancer than women in more affluent areas, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Body Image Tied to Suicidal Thoughts in Young Teens

HBNS STORY | August 29, 2013

Seeing oneself as overweight or obese may be an important, independent predictor of suicidal thoughts, especially in young girls, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 9, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

This week in health news: When dieting encouragement goes wrong | What works for more walking at work | Vaccines: Not just for babies | Health insurance matters for cancer survivors

Cancer Survivors Not Receiving Preventive Care

HBNS STORY | August 6, 2013

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that some cancer survivors do not always have the best access to primary care and that the type of health insurance they have—or don’t have—may be a factor.

Teens Missing Recommended Vaccines

HBNS STORY | August 1, 2013

Health care providers are missing opportunities to improve teens’ vaccination coverage, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 26, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

This week in health news: Men opt for PSA test, despite guidelines | Obesity an added burden for people with disabilities | Minorities not getting mental health care | Economic downturns affect preventive care

Lower Coronary Heart Disease Deaths By Making Several Lifestyle Changes

HBNS STORY | July 9, 2013

Programs to address multiple health behaviors, such as diet and exercise, significantly lowered the risk of a fatal heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event in people with coronary heart disease, finds a new review in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Men Say They Want Prostate Cancer Test, Despite Risks

HBNS STORY | July 9, 2013

A survey of men age 40 to 74 found that 54 percent said that they would still opt for a popular prostate cancer screening test despite recent recommendations that the test not be performed, finds a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Negative Public Health Campaigns May Undermine Weight Loss Goals

HBNS STORY | June 20, 2013

Public health campaigns that stigmatize obese people by using negative images or text do not motivate them to lose weight any more than more neutral campaigns, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Doctors Don’t Provide Sexual Health Info to Teens

HBNS STORY | June 11, 2013

Most sexually active teens don’t get information about sexual health from their health care providers, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Smoke-Free Public Housing Would = Better Health and Savings

HBNS STORY | April 16, 2013

Establishing smoke-free policies for public housing would help protect residents, visitors and employees from the harmful effects of smoking and result in significant cost savings, reports a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Unwilling to Pay Extra for Wellness

HBNS STORY | April 9, 2013

Although most overweight adults agree that health insurance benefits designed to promote weight loss are a good idea, they don’t want to pay extra for them, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Half of At-Risk Older Adults Aren’t Getting Routine HIV Screening

HBNS STORY | January 29, 2013

Almost half of older adults visiting a public health clinic where HIV/AIDS was prevalent were not screened for the disease in the past 12 months, finds a study in The Gerontologist.

Larger Patients: Fewer Lectures, Better Health Care

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

If you're a heavy person, you probably dread medical visits that seem to center on weight, regardless of whether you come in for an unrelated complaint or a routine screening. Even so, don't let that stop you from getting the health care you deserve.

Facts About Vaccinations

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Get Preventive Health Care

Want to know more about what vaccinations are recommended for you and your family? Here are some facts about vaccinations, including safety information.

Do You Need a Yearly Checkup?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Get Preventive Health Care

Checkups are good for establishing a relationship with your primary care clinician and for screening tests. Here are resources with more on what tests you might need to stay healthy.

Get Preventive Health Care

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Get Preventive Health Care

Make use of immunizations and recommended disease screening tests to prevent illness.

Only Half of Young Women Complete Three-Part HPV Vaccine

HBNS STORY | December 11, 2012

Of young women who start the three-part series of the highly effective human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, only half get all the necessary doses, according to new research in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

100 Million Without Dental Care

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 12, 2012 | Trudy Lieberman

Every year, over 100 million Americans don’t go to the dentist because they can’t afford it, leaving many in pain. How can people pay for dental care?

A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects

On Friday afternoon of Labor Day weekend three years ago, my doctor called to tell me that the pathology report from a recent endoscopy showed that I had stomach cancer. Maybe you can imagine what happened next.

Prepared Patient: Do You Need a Yearly Checkup? (Updated Version)

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 3, 2012 | Health Behavior News Service

We've all heard about well-baby visits, but if you're a healthy adult, you probably have no plan to see a doctor. When there's nothing to complain about, many of us go years without a comprehensive medical check-up, maybe to save money or time off from work or because we don't want to be lectured about our diet or exercise habits. But should we give up the time-honored tradition of the yearly physical?

Do You Need a Yearly Medical Check-Up?

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

We've all heard about well-baby visits, but if you're a healthy adult, you probably have no plan to see a doctor. When there's nothing to complain about, many of us go years without a comprehensive medical check-up.

Fast Food Medicine: A Missed Opportunity for Shared Decision Making

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 13, 2012 | Sarah Jorgenson

Though I may want fast food health care when I'm healthy, I don't want it if I'm sick or have the potential to be sick. People want to have the opportunity for a dining-in experience, not just fast food.

The Hard Truth: There's No Such Thing as Truly Preventive Services

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 10, 2012 | Barbara Bronson Gray

If only there really was such a thing as a "preventive service." With all this talk about the Affordable Care Act these last few weeks, the inclusion in the law of "free preventive services" has been billed as a big plus.

Prepared Patient: Do I Have to Go to the Dentist? Oral Health Starts Early

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 28, 2012 | Health Behavior News Service

Many of us have vivid memories of tying a thread to a loose tooth and wiggling it back and forth with our tongue all the time hoping for a profitable visit from the Tooth Fairy. Facebook is full of school and family photos of kids with cute, gap-toothed smiles. But increasingly, children are losing their baby teeth not due to the budding of their permanent teeth but to the ravages of early decay and cavities. There are a number of reasons kids and adults don't make it to the dentist regularly. For some parents, it's a lack of understanding about the importance of oral health, even at an early age.

Do I Have to Go to the Dentist? Oral Health Starts Early

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Increasingly, children are losing their baby teeth not due to the budding of their permanent teeth but to the ravages of early decay and cavities. For some parents, this is a result of a lack of understanding about the importance of oral health, even at an early age.

Selling Screening Tests

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 8, 2012 | Trudy Lieberman

A few weeks ago, a letter arrived from the Life Line Screening company enticing me to come in for a 'simple, potentially lifesaving screening' to assess my risk for strokes and other vascular diseases.

Single Men Spend Weekends Sitting & Watching TV

HBNS STORY | March 13, 2012

Single, middle-aged people who live alone spend more time sitting. A new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered that men tended to sit for longer periods watching TV on the weekends while women sat for longer periods doing activities such as reading or dining out.

Will We 'Just Say No' to Screening Tests?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 7, 2012 | Jessie Gruman

Will we - you and me and our parents and neighbors - be a significant force in quelling the tide of over-testing for the early detection of disease?

Guest Blog: Anti-vaccine propaganda in The Baltimore Sun

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 15, 2011 | David Gorski

Why does the manufactroversy that vaccines cause autism persist? There is no longer a scientific controversy; by and large, the question has been asked and answered. Vaccines do not cause autism, as far as we can detect. Yet the fear persists.

No Magic Bullets for the 'War on Cancer'

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 30, 2011 | Kenny Lin

Nearly forty years ago, President Richard Nixon famously declared a "War on Cancer" by signing the National Cancer Act of 1971. Like the Manhattan Project, the Apollo program that was then landing men on the Moon, and the ongoing (and eventually successful) World Health Organization-led initiative to eradicate smallpox from the face of the Earth, the "War on Cancer" was envisioned as a massive, all-out research and treatment effort. We would bomb cancer in submission with powerful regimens of chemotherapy, experts promised, or, failing that, we would invest in early detection of cancers so that they could be more easily cured at earlier stages.

Some School-Based Programs Curb Alcohol Misuse, Review Finds

HBNS STORY | May 10, 2011

School prevention programs aimed at curbing alcohol misuse in children are somewhat helpful, enough so to deserve consideration for widespread use, according to a large, international systematic review.

Poster Child for Survivorship Planning

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 16, 2011 | Jessie Gruman

I am a poster child for why everyone who has had cancer needs to work with their doctor(s) to develop and implement a survivorship plan.

Teens Prefer Liquor to Beer, Hardly Touch Wine

HBNS STORY | March 8, 2011

Nearly half of American teen drinkers would rather have a shot of liquor than a bottle of beer, a new study finds, and teens who prefer liquor are much more likely to indulge in high-risk behavior.

Guest Blog: Overdiagnosis

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 3, 2011 | Harriet Hall

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch has written a new book Over-diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, with co-authors Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin. It identifies a serious problem, debunks medical misconceptions and contains words of wisdom. We are healthier, but we are increasingly being told we are sick. We are labeled with diagnoses that may not mean anything to our health. People used to go to the doctor when they were sick, and diagnoses were based on symptoms. Today diagnoses are increasingly made on the basis of detected abnormalities in people who have no symptoms and might never have developed them.

Prevention Magazine Pushes High-tech, Non-Evidence-based Heart Screenings More Than Basic Prevention

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 26, 2011 | Gary Schwitzer

The February issue of Prevention magazine has an article, "Surprising Faces of Heart Attack" profiling "three women (who) didn't think they were at high risk. Their stories are proof that you could be in danger without even knowing it." No, their stories are not proof of that.

After Games, 40 Percent of Sports Fans Have Booze on Board

HBNS STORY | January 18, 2011

Eight percent of fans who agreed to be tested after attending professional football and baseball games were too drunk to legally drive, a new study finds, and 40 percent had alcohol in their bodies.

Vaccine Safety

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 6, 2011 | Conversation Continues

Two new books, examine the pseudoscience that created a controversy over vaccine safety, Dr. David Gorski, offers a review on science-based medicine, Andrew Wakefield's study linking autism to MMR vaccines continues to be dismantled and BMJ's Brian Deer compares diagnoses in Wakefield's study to hospital records.

Social Media Approach To Healthcare Disparities

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 17, 2010 | Chris Gibbons

Chris Gibbons, MD, CFAH Board Member, interviewed by CNN on using social media and web coupons for health care.

Free Aneurysm Screenings: Not All K-Mart Blue Light Specials Are Bargains

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 28, 2010 | Gary Schwitzer

K-Mart, Medtronic, and a bunch of specialty medical groups are sponsoring a campaign called "Find the AAAnswers" - the AAA standing for abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Hooked on Headphones? Personal Listening Devices Can Harm Hearing

HBNS STORY | August 31, 2010

Will I Do it for My DNA? Can Personalized Medicine Spark Healthier Behavior?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 15, 2010 | Jessie Gruman

The 10th Anniversary of the decoding of the human genome has prompted a whole new round of media coverage on progress toward 'personalized medicine i.e., approaches that use genetic information to prevent or treat disease in adults or their children. Not only will drugs be carefully tailored to our individual genetic profile, we will also be able to reduce risks and enhance our health by taking specific lifestyle-related actions that are determined by our unique constellation of DNA.

The Inconvenient Evidence on Alzheimer's

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 16, 2010 | Jessie Gruman

Lifestyle May Not Prevent Alzheimer's trumpets a headline in Time magazine. The article goes on to describe a carefully conducted review of decades of evidence examining the hypothesis that exercise, social relationships, diet or vitamins can ward off Alzheimer's disease. The study concludes that there is not sufficient evidence to be able to recommend that the public take any of these actions to prevent or delay the disease.

Do Health Threats Migrate?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 7, 2010 | Jessie Gruman

Have you ever gotten one of those phone calls from your doctor the starts out I'm very concerned about what we saw in your mammogram/colonoscopy/echocardiogram?

Roll Up Your Sleeve: Adult Vaccinations

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Yearly vaccinations aren't just for kids any more. While you hear a lot about the flu shot, you should know that a battery of other adult vaccinations might also become part of your health care routine.

Mind Over Body. Mind Over Money

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 30, 2010 | Dorothy Jeffress

I was captivated this week by the PBS special Mind Over Money. This show featured the contrasting perspectives and studies of economists about how we make decisions about our money thoughts of which apparently light up a deep old part of the brain that also glimmers when either sex or food is considered.

A Faint Drumbeat in the Background

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 13, 2010 | Dorothy Jeffress

Reading the Modern Love essay in the New York Times Style section has become a favorite Sunday pastime. A widely diverse set of stories explore the paths that love and relationships have taken over the years. Funny, sad, deeply personal and evocative. I find myself connecting with the writers and their subjects in unexpected ways. This week's essay, Sweetest at the End, shared the story of a beloved and accomplished husband's decline and then death from an atrophy of the frontal brain lobe.