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Update on Jessie's status and some words of wisdom from her article, 6 Ways to Help When Someone Has Cancer, originally published in an October 2008 issue of Parade magazine.
Jessie has written about her perspective as the patient in an extremely stressful situation. I can add a different one: that of the husband of my seriously ill wife.
A new study reveals that sick teens are more isolated than other kids, but they do not necessarily realize it and often think their friendships are stronger than they actually are.
It could happen tomorrow. The doctor says, "I'm sorry, I have bad news," and suddenly your life is turned upside-down, leaving you reeling from the shock of a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. Here is some advice on getting through that initial period.
People who get together for support with depression may find their symptoms decrease, a new systematic review suggests.
I had breakfast this morning with my friend, Dave Garcia. Dave is a pit boss on the graveyard shift at the Belagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He is also a 52-year-old chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor. Today he was to see his oncologist and get his latest blood test results. Would his white blood count be in the normal range? As you can imagine, Dave was on pins and needles.
A TIME article this week reveals new research that 'doctors who are more empathetic actually have healthier patients.' More on empathy and its role in health outcomes.....
Latinos benefit from antidepressants like everybody else — only they do not use them nearly as often. The trick is getting past some cultural barriers.
For more than three weeks I have been hanging around the ICU. Lara, my friend and colleague, is poised between life and death, having rejected her five-year-old transplanted lungs. She awaits the gift of a chance for life from another donor. Lara wants so much to live. During her last conversation with me before being placed on a ventilator, she talked about her fear. Now breathing and most everything else is done for her. Drugs keep her oblivious to the suspense.
In The New York Times This Life column, 'You Look Great and Other Lies', Bruce Feiler shares what he learned after his diagnosis and treatment for bone cancer. Bruce describes the gestures and words that are helpful and offers cautions about what not to say/do when someone you care about is ill.
Obese teenage girls are more than twice as likely as other girls to develop high-level nicotine addiction as young adults, according to a new study.
The experiences and emotions brought on by having an illness or disability can be complex and sometimes unexpected. In this blog roundup, three patients share theirs.
Medical student Katherine Ellington grapples with reconciling her two roles as daughter and doctor-in-training as her mother recovers from a heart procedure.
This interview with Connie Davis is the second in a series of brief chats between CFAH president and founder, Jessie Gruman and experts - our CFAH William Ziff Fellows - who have devoted their careers to understanding and encouraging people's engagement in their health and health care.
In this round-up, patient bloggers describe a mix of difficulties they experience in everyday conversations due to their illnesses.
Erica Kosal's husband, Jim Young, has battled complications of chronic Lyme disease since his diagnosis in 2008. In 2010, Jim's hospitalization for respiratory problems took a turn for the worse, resulting in a 3-week ICU stay.
I was first diagnosed while on vacation in 1994. A doctor entered the room and, without warning, said that I had 'a terminal and incurable form of leukemia' and 'less than five years to live.' Just like that. Turns out he was wrong'
People who are dying have much living to do, whether it is measured out in days, weeks or months, and the demarcation lines between the living and the dying might as well be drawn in pencil. But the truth is that it's important to talk about dying and what it means to each of us.
Patients who feel their physicians treat them with respect and fairness, communicate well and engage with them outside of the office setting are more active in their own health care, according to new study in Health Services Research.
Older adults who maintain high levels of social engagement or ramp up their social life as they age may be protected from declines in physical and cognitive health, according to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
During Thanksgiving week, many patient bloggers shared what they were thankful for. Though there were many ' here are what four of them had to say.
Encouragement from family members helps motivate Mexican-American adults to eat more fruits and vegetables and to engage in regular exercise, according to a new study in the current issue of American Journal of Health Promotion.
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.
Seventy-two percent of adolescents with juvenile arthritis use at least one form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but only 45 percent have discussions about it with their health care providers says a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
College students’ social networks influence their beliefs regarding the safety of influenza vaccines and decisions about vaccination, according to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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.
The essays collected here reflect on what it felt like as a patient with a serious illness, to cobble together a plan with my clinicians that works and to slog through the treatments in the hope that my cancer will be contained or cured and that I will be able to resume the interesting life I love.
Support for quitting smoking via text and video messages can help smokers kick the habit, according to a new Cochrane systematic review.
Better health is more likely when we agree on a plan of action with our doctor and follow it.
We must understand what our treatment choices are and their risks and benefits.
Sometimes treatment can produce troubling side effects. Here’s how to recognize them and what to do if you have them.
While participating in social activities and organizations promotes health, having personal ties with friends is even better, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Recent health behavior research news stories: Friendships Are Good for Our Health | Obesity Lowers Quality of Life in Boys | Health Centers Have High Satisfaction Rates | Diabetes + Depression Increases Risk of Death
How many friends/family members/social workers does it take to change the mind of a frail person? Even if the frail person was/is one of the leading geriatric social workers in the country?
African Americans who believe their church is responsible for promoting health in their members and the community are also more willing to attend church-based health fairs, according to a new study in Health Promotion Practice.
Teens in a relationship that involves dating violence are likely to be both a victim and perpetrator, as opposed to being just one or the other, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Teenage victims of cyberbullying, defined as the use of the internet or cell phones to send hurtful and harassing messages, are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, substance abuse and internet addiction, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
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
Women who are frequently encouraged by their significant others to lose weight are more likely to resort to unhealthy measures to do so, according to new research in the American Journal of Health Promotion
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
I was naive when I decided to enter medicine. My impressions then were that doctors always “did” stuff—for patients, and to patients. We would do stuff to you (examinations, blood tests, scans, surgeries) in order to help you.
When I signed up for palliative care in 2011, I thought I’d made my last medical decisions. In the future I’d take the least-invasive, lowest-cost approach to medical care and forego dramatic, expensive treatments. If only life with advanced cancer were so simple!
College students who exercise with friends are less likely to report feeling stressed, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
If a family member or friend has a serious medical illness or procedure, you may be called on to provide care after your loved one leaves the hospital, emergency room or doctor’s office. Assisting with their health care needs frequently falls on untrained family members or friends.
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
finds that bisexual teens may be at risk for suicide even into young adulthood.
The ways parents or caregivers interact with children around mealtimes can have unintended consequences, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Students who used false IDs more often were at increased risk for alcohol use disorder, according to a new longitudinal study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Teens with a variety of chronic illnesses report facing similar barriers to taking their medications, according to a new review in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Websites targeting veterans fail to provide information about the risks of tobacco products despite high rates of smoking in the military, finds a new report in the American Journal of Health Promotion
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that the lifestyle of veterans both pre- and post-deployment influences their post-deployment wellness.
Failing to address the presence of other smokers at home limits the effectiveness of workplace smoking restrictions, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion.
Teens that have had a parent or sibling on military deployment were more likely to have suicidal thoughts or be depressed than teens without military connections, finds a new study in The Journal of Adolescent Health
Coast-to-coast, stress is the norm for most Americans: 55 percent of people feel stressed in everyday life, and far more women feel the stress than men do. It will take a village to help manage stress, including but not limited to our doctors.
A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior
finds that teaching people about smoking cessation—even those without a medical background—can motivate them to encourage their friends, family and acquaintances to stop smoking.
Some African-Americans rate their health as good, despite being overweight or having high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease
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
Patients with an existing relationship with a doctor ranked as lower performing were no more likely to switch doctors than patients with higher performing doctors, finds a new study in Health Services Research
Children in military families who relocate have an increased odds of suffering mental health problems, finds a large new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Racial and sexual minorities, women, and obese people may face more health risks because of their disproportionate exposure to discrimination, according to a new report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Black adults who reported feeling more financial strain also rated their health more poorly than those with less financial strain, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior
I don't know if it's growing older, or New England winters, or the meds I take, or watching Homeland and Downton Abbey in the same week – but my memory isn't as crisp as it used to be. My partner, Richard, has become part of my cerebral cortex...
Teaching people with diabetes how to control their blood glucose levels, not their doctors, helps them achieve better results, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease
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
As a very stubborn and advice-resisting ill partner myself, I can't say if this issue is gender-specific. But I do know it's an issue most couples dealing with illness face, more than once. Here are my two suggestions for what to do when your partner resists your advice...
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
Sending smokers individualized text messages was found to be twice as effective at helping them quit smoking than simply providing self-help materials, according to a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
We've watched it many times on television or in a movie: The patient lies in the intensive care unit, gravely ill, with the family at the bedside. The doctor walks into the room and asks, "What do you want us to do?" and opens up a huge can of worms that is, in fact, ethically incorrect. The first priority that a physician has is to their patient...
Socioeconomic adversity during childhood increases the likelihood of both depression and higher body mass index (BMI) in early adolescence, which can worsen and lead to illness for young adults, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health
"All your Prepared Patient essays do is complain about your health care and your doctors. That's why I don't read them." Yowzah! Do I really complain? Not to be defensive, but I don't think so. Every week I work to vividly describe insights that might shine a little light on this project that patients, caregivers, clinicians and policymakers – well, the list goes on – share of trying to make health care more effective and fair...
Should you bring someone with you to your next doctor's appointment? If you're asking, the answer is yes. If you're asked, how do you be the best companion? Prep in advance, listen, record and ask questions. Know why you're going. That means two things...
Adolescents who play team sports in grades 8 through 12 have less stress and better mental health as young adults, finds new research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health
The physical and mental well-being of people with cancer may be affected by how they feel about their relationship with their physician and by differences in attachment styles, finds a new study from General Hospital Psychiatry
Blacks with a family history of untreated mental health disorders are less likely to seek treatment, even when they rate their own mental health as poor, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior
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.
The use of social networking sites like Facebook may have implications for accessing online health information, finds a new longitudinal study from the Journal of Health Communication
About 18 million Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or meals, finds a new study in Milbank Quarterly. The research shows a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other "informal caregivers."
I was reluctant to attend. I didn't have leukemia and am not a "touchy-feely" person, which was my perception of a support group. However, I dragged my IV pole of medications and went to this meeting where I met my first fellow myeloma patient named Jim – finally, someone who had the same disease as me. So to this day, whenever I meet with one or a group of myeloma patients, I make the following plea...
I was once someone who never felt that I'd be normal again. But recovery is made up of small steps that lead us to a successful life – these steps toward wellness matter, because being active versus passive about your recovery greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome...