HEALTH BEHAVIOR NEWS SERVICE

Health Behavior News Service covers the latest peer-reviewed studies and systematic reviews on the effects of behavior on health, health disparities and patient engagement research. Our goal is to present the facts for readers to understand and use to make informed choices about health and health care.

Choose Year: 2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  

Depression and Dementia in Older Adults Increase Risk of Preventable Hospitalizations

November 20, 2014
Older adults with mental health conditions, such as depression or cognitive impairment, have a higher risk of readmission within 30 days after a hospital stay for pneumonia, heart attack or congestive heart failure, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Medicaid Payments for Office Visits Impact Cancer Screening Rates

November 20, 2014
New research in the journal Cancer finds that Medicaid recipients are more likely to undergo cancer screening tests when their doctors receive higher reimbursements for routine office visits rather than for the tests themselves.

Schools Often Fail to Follow Their Own Written Wellness Policies

November 18, 2014
A wide divide exists between public schools' written wellness policies and their actual day-to-day practices, finds a new study in Health Promotion Practice.

Some Psychiatric Patients Are More Frequent Users of Hospital ERs

November 13, 2014
New research in General Hospital Psychiatry finds that homelessness, cocaine use, being on Medicare, having a personality disorder or having liver disease appears to be a predictor of frequent ED use by people with a psychiatric illness.

Poor-Quality Weight Loss Advice Often Appears First in an Online Search

November 13, 2014
More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study in the American Journal of Public Health finds that high-quality weight loss information often appears after the first page of search engine results.

Chronic Care Coordinators Improve Diabetes Monitoring But Not Blood Sugar Control

November 11, 2014
Getting support from a chronic care coordinator increases blood-glucose testing and foot and eye exams in people with type 2 diabetes, but it may not improve blood-sugar control, a new study in the journal Health Services Research indicates.

Unhealthy Diets Linked With Mental Health of Children

November 6, 2014
Children and adolescents who ate foods high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods appear to experience more depression and low moods, suggests a new systematic research review in the American Journal of Public Health.

Coordination Eases the Transition From Pediatric to Adult Health Care

November 4, 2014
New research in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that when a young person moves from pediatric care to an adult practice, the transition is eased and better care is provided when formal processes are in place for the handoff.

Time Spent Preparing Meals at Home Linked to Healthier Diet

October 30, 2014
Spending less than one hour a day preparing food at home is associated with eating more fast food and spending more money eating out, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Not having time available may be one of the most significant barriers to achieving a healthy diet.

Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women

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.

Nearly Half of Older Americans Need Support With Daily Routines

October 23, 2014
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."

Fecal Blood Test May Save More Lives Than Colonoscopy

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.

Children With Chronic Health Conditions Less Likely to Graduate From High School

October 16, 2014
Approximately 32 million U.S. children have at least one chronic health condition, which can negatively affect their chances of receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent by age 21, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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

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.

Timing of Epidural Is Up to the Mother

October 9, 2014
When a woman is in labor, the appropriate time to give an epidural during childbirth is when she asks for it, suggests a new review in The Cochrane Library.

Sexting in Teens Linked to More Sexual Activity, Low Self-Esteem

October 7, 2014
Relatively few teens say they have engaged in sexting, but those who do may put themselves at sexual risk, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Expanding Medicaid Increases Rural Health Care Access and Use

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.

Many Women Receive Unnecessary Pap Tests

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

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).

Teens World-Wide Self-Medicate With Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs

September 23, 2014
Adolescents around the world are frequently using over-the-counter and prescription medications without a doctor’s order, a risky practice that can lead to overuse and abuse and is often continued into adulthood, reveals a new review in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Pressure from Providers Leads Some Women to Have C-Sections, Inductions

September 23, 2014
Pregnant women who felt pressured to have a labor induction or cesarean section by their obstetrical care providers were significantly more likely to have these procedures, even if there was no medical need for them, suggests a new study in Health Services Research.

Online Social Networking Linked to Use of Web for Health Info

September 16, 2014
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.

Elderly Who Have Had Serious Falls May Show Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress

September 11, 2014
Older adults who experience a serious fall may develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the days following the event, finds a study published in General Hospital Psychiatry.

Few Overweight People with Diabetes Getting Recommended Physical Activity

September 9, 2014
Women and men with diabetes who are trying to lose weight are not meeting the recommended amounts of physical activity for weight loss, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Poor Health Habits Linked to Financial Insecurity

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

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.

Obese or Overweight Teens More Likely to Become Smokers

August 28, 2014
A study in American Journal of Health Behavior examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular cigarette smoking.

Seniors Face Barriers to Critical Dental Care

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.

Leaving Their Pediatricians Tough for Some Teens with Chronic Conditions

August 21, 2014
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health has found that one in five young adults with chronic illnesses said the transfer of their care from pediatrics to adult-oriented health care was unsatisfactory.

Counseling Has Limited Benefit on Young People Drinking Alcohol

August 21, 2014
Counseling techniques used to help young people with drinking problems may be of limited benefit, suggests a new review in The Cochrane Library.

Self-Reported Health Information Predicts High-Need Medicaid Patients

August 19, 2014
Just three types of simple self-reported health measures can predict which Medicaid-eligible adults are more likely to access intensive and costly health services over the next year, a new study in Health Services Research suggests.

Anxiety Associated With Ulcer Risk

August 14, 2014
A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry finds evidence of a relationship between anxiety disorders and the prevalence and incidence of ulcer over a 10-year period in a sample of U.S. adults.

Mental Health Screening in Primary Care Helps Veterans

August 12, 2014
Veterans who receive mental health screening during primary care visits are generally getting adequate follow-up treatment, but the process for acquiring care could be improved, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.

Family History of Undertreatment May Discourage Blacks from Seeking Mental Health Care

August 7, 2014
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.

Medicare Changes Lower Hospital Use

August 5, 2014
A recent study in Health Services Research based on 15 years of hospital data suggests that cuts in Medicare prices under the Affordable Care Act may slow the growth in overall hospital spending.

Patient-Centered Medical Homes Reduce Costs

July 31, 2014
As the number of patient centered medical homes has increased, a new report in the journal Health Services Research finds the model offers a promising option to reduce health care costs and utilization of some health care services.

Confidential Discussions Are Key to Improving Teen Health Visits

July 29, 2014
Teens who have the option to privately and confidentially discuss health concerns with their doctor are more likely to talk about certain issues than they would be in discussions where a parent is present, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Inadequate Mental Health Care for Blacks with Depression and Diabetes, High Blood Pressure

July 24, 2014
A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry confirms that Blacks with depression plus another chronic medical condition, such as Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, do not receive adequate mental health treatment.

Lacking Trust in One's Doctor Affects Health of Emotionally Vulnerable Cancer Patients

July 22, 2014
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.

When It Comes to Health Disparities, Place Matters More Than Race

July 17, 2014
Blacks and Whites living in an integrated, low-income urban area had similar rates of treatment and management of hypertension, or high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease.

Asthma Drugs Suppress Growth

July 17, 2014
Corticosteroid drugs that are given by inhalers to children with asthma may suppress their growth, suggests two evidence reviews published in The Cochrane Library.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Saves Lives

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.

Early Palliative Care Cuts Costs for Critically Ill Patients

July 10, 2014
Palliative care delivered early during hospitalization can help cut costs for critically ill patients, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Neighborhoods with Healthy Food Options Less Likely to Have Overweight Kids

July 8, 2014
Children with a greater number of healthy food outlets near their homes had a reduced likelihood of being overweight or obese, finds an Australian study published in American Journal of Health Promotion.

Mental Health Wins When Teens Play School Sports

July 1, 2014
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.

Little Progress Made in Reducing Health Disparities for People with Disabilities

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.

Growing Up Poor Impacts Physical and Mental Health in Young Adults

June 24, 2014
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.

Class and Insurance Stigma Are Barriers to Good Health Care

June 19, 2014
Some low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients report feeling stigma when interacting with health care providers, finds a new report in The Milbank Quarterly.

Psychological Distress Affects Tobacco Use Differently for Men and Women

June 17, 2014
A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior finds that women are more likely than men to use tobacco products after experiencing severe psychological distress.

Shared Decision Making Missing in Cancer Screening Discussions

June 12, 2014
A national survey of patients reveals that physicians don’t always fully discuss the risks and benefits of cancer screening, reports a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Customized Text Messages Can Help Smokers Quit

June 10, 2014
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.

Life-Changing Events Can Lead to Less Physical Activity

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.

Smokers Slow to Embrace Routine Use of Electronic Cigarettes

June 3, 2014
Few smokers who try e-cigarettes have made the permanent switch from regular tobacco cigarettes, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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

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.

Families with Preschoolers Buying Fewer High Calorie Foods and Beverages

May 27, 2014
Families with young children are purchasing fewer high calorie drinks and processed foods, which may be a factor in declining rates of childhood obesity, finds a new report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

People with Low Incomes Less Likely to Use Healthy Weight Loss Strategies

May 22, 2014
Poorer people of all ages are less likely than wealthier ones to follow recommended strategies for weight loss, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Social Support May Prevent PTSD in Heart Patients

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.

Many Smokers Still Surprised by Facts About Tobacco's Dangers

May 15, 2014
Between half and one-third of smokers presented with corrective statements about the dangers of smoking indicated that some of the information was new to them and motivated them to quit, finds a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Obese Employees Cost Employers Thousands in Extra Medical Costs

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.

More Patient Education, Not Physician Training, Helps Control Diabetes

May 8, 2014
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.

Low Self-Rating of Social Status Predicts Heart Disease Risk

May 6, 2014
How a person defines their own socioeconomic standing (SES) within their community can help predict their risk of cardiovascular disease, but only among Whites, not Blacks, finds a recent study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Misunderstanding Health Insurance Leads Some to Overspend

May 1, 2014
Uninsured adults who didn't understand health insurance tended to have trouble selecting plans that aligned with their stated needs and spent more money, finds a study in Health Services Research.

Minorities Face Disparities in Treatment and Outcomes of Atrial Fibrillation

April 29, 2014
Minority patients with atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that increases the risk of stroke, were less likely to receive common treatments and more likely to die from the condition than their white counterparts, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Public Health Centers Deliver Equal or Better Quality of Care

April 28, 2014
A new study in Health Services Research reports that patients who get care at federally funded health centers have fewer office visits and hospitalizations, and receive similar or a better quality of preventive care when compared to similar patients of non-health center primary care providers.

Insurance Status Affects Where Young Adults Seek Health Care

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.

Tobacco Use Varies Widely Among Asian and Pacific Islanders in U.S.

April 17, 2014
A new study in American Journal of Health Behavior finds significant differences in tobacco use when analyzed by specific Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity.

Blacks with Financial Worries Have Lower Health Scores

April 15, 2014
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.

Community Demographics Linked to Hospital Readmissions

April 10, 2014
Nearly 60 percent of the variation in hospital readmission rates appears to be associated with a hospital’s geographic location, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

A Phone Call from a Pharmacist Can Reduce Some Hospital Admissions

April 10, 2014
Pharmacist-patient telephone consultations appear to reduce hospitalizations in patients who are least at risk, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Weight Loss Efforts Start Well, but Lapse Over Time

April 8, 2014
Learning you have an obesity-related disease motivates many to start a weight loss program, but troubling health news is often not enough to sustain weight loss efforts, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Many New Parents Unaware of Safety Guidelines

April 8, 2014
A new parent’s health literacy can affect their ability to follow recommendations to protect infants from injury, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Tobacco Promotions Still Reaching Youth

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.

Double Discrimination Impacts Physical and Mental Health

March 25, 2014
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.

Moves Take a Toll on Kids' Mental Health

March 20, 2014
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.

Online Ratings Don't Help Patients Compare Hospitals

March 18, 2014
Despite having access to online ratings, patients can’t distinguish the quality or performance of one hospital from another, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Cost of Health Care a Burden for Most U.S. Households

March 13, 2014
Since 2001, health care costs have become more burdensome for almost all Americans, at every income level and in every geographic area, finds a new study published in The Milbank Quarterly.

Patients Are Loyal to Their Doctors, Despite Performance Scores

March 11, 2014
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.

Better Benefits Help Medicaid Recipients Quit Smoking

March 6, 2014
Expanded smoking cessation benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should give more people the opportunity to quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Parents Should Team with Kids to Encourage Exercise

March 4, 2014
Parents can help motivate kids to be more physically active, but the influence may not result in an improvement in their children’s weight, finds a new evidence review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Hospitalization Increases Risk of Depression and Dementia for Seniors

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.

Simple Waiting Room Test Can Help Diagnose Depression and Anxiety

February 25, 2014
A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry finds patients visiting the hospital for a variety of ailments can be easily screened for depression and anxiety as they wait for care.

Evidence Mixed on the Usefulness of Echinacea for Colds

February 20, 2014
For people seeking a natural treatment for the common cold, some preparations containing the plant Echinacea work better than nothing, yet “evidence is weak,” finds a new report from The Cochrane Library.

Antibiotics Don't Prevent Complications of Kids' Respiratory Infections

February 18, 2014
Antibiotics are often prescribed for young children who have upper respiratory tract infections, however, a new evidence review in The Cochrane Library found no evidence to support this practice.

African Americans' Concept of Health May Be More Than Physical

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

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.

Men, Elderly, Minorities Not Getting Treated for Depression

February 6, 2014
Depression rates are increasing in the U.S. and under-treatment is widespread, especially among certain groups including men, the poor, the elderly and ethnic minorities, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.

With Training, Friends and Family Can Help Loved Ones Quit Tobacco

February 4, 2014
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.

Pre-Surgical Drug May Ease Recovery and Reduce Pain for Kids

January 30, 2014
A new evidence review from The Cochrane Library found that administering a drug called clonidine before surgery may be a good alternative for controlling post-surgical pain and help reduce a child’s anxiety after surgery.

Contradictory Nutrition News Creates Consumer Confusion

January 28, 2014
Exposure to conflicting news about nutrition often results in confusion and backlash against nutrition recommendations, finds a recent study in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

Gap in Life Expectancy Between Rural and Urban Residents Is Growing

January 23, 2014
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that rural residents have experienced smaller gains in life expectancy than their urban counterparts and the gap continues to grow.

Sedentary Lifestyles Up Mortality Risks for Older Women

January 21, 2014
Older women who spend a majority of their day sitting or lying down are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, cancer and death, finds a new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Rich or Poor, Schools Fall Short on Providing Physical Activity

January 16, 2014
Schools in wealthier areas are more likely to have a physical education (PE) teacher on staff than are schools in poorer areas, but students in both wealthy and less affluent areas are not getting enough physical activity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Few Primary Care Practices Provide Effective Weight Management Care

January 14, 2014
Only a quarter of U.S. primary care physicians surveyed are doing a thorough job of helping patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight, finds a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Teen Concussions Increase Risk for Depression

January 9, 2014
Teens with a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression as teens who have never had a concussion, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Antibacterial Agent Boosts Toothpaste Effectiveness

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.

Hospitals Serving Elderly Poor More Likely to Be Penalized for Readmissions

January 7, 2014
Hospitals that treat more poor seniors who are on both Medicaid and Medicare tend to have higher rates of readmissions, triggering costly penalties, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

More Funding for Community Health Centers Improves Access to Care

January 2, 2014
Increased federal funding for community health centers has helped low-income adults get access to primary and dental care, according to a new study in Health Services Research.

Doctors Experienced with Using EHRs Say They Add Value for Patients

January 2, 2014
A majority of surveyed physicians said they were alerted to a potential medication error or critical lab value by an electronic health record, finds a new study in Health Services Research.