HEALTH BEHAVIOR NEWS SERVICE

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Urban Parks and Trails Are Cost-Effective Ways to Promote Exercise
HBNS STORY | December 8, 2014
A new systematic review in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that providing public parks and walking and biking trails is the most cost-effective strategy to increase physical activity among large populations in urban areas.

Military Culture Enables Tobacco Use
HBNS STORY | December 4, 2014
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that U.S. military culture perpetuates the notion that using tobacco provides stress relief. Previous studies of tobacco use for stress relief among soldiers have produced no evidence supporting the theory.

Medicaid Payments for Office Visits Impact Cancer Screening Rates
HBNS STORY | 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.

The Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 19, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
The first blog post I wrote about a Canadian doctor who was "diagnosing poverty" received more than 3,000 hits. I wanted to circle back to see whether or not the program had taken root. Indeed it has. "It's been a wildfire effect," Dr. Gary Bloch told me. Why can't the U.S. follow suit?...

Schools Often Fail to Follow Their Own Written Wellness Policies
HBNS STORY | 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.

Food Companies' Masterful Marketing at Odds With Consumers' Health
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 18, 2014 | CFAH Staff
New options from Domino's, McDonald's and Pepsi are putting consumers' food choices to the test. Do we really want nacho-chips-flavored Mountain Dew? Probably not. But health advocates will have to step up their game to compete against these marketing powerhouses...

Some Psychiatric Patients Are More Frequent Users of Hospital ERs
HBNS STORY | 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.

Unhealthy Diets Linked With Mental Health of Children
HBNS STORY | 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.

Poor-Quality Weight Loss Advice Often Appears First in an Online Search
HBNS STORY | 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.

Time Spent Preparing Meals at Home Linked to Healthier Diet
HBNS STORY | 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.

We Don't Ration Health Care in America. Or Do We?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 29, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
As narrower insurance networks begin to limit where we can get our care and contradict the American notion of abundant choices, I thought about the Canadian health care system and rumors of its long waiting lists that grab U.S. headlines. Yet, narrow insurance networks, sky-high deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays are ways of controlling our medical expenditures. Instead of rationing with waiting lists, America rations with price...

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.

A Doctor's Dilemma of Prescribing for Pain
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 14, 2014 | Kenny Lin
I have complicated feelings about prescribing for chronic pain. On one hand, I recognize that relieving headaches, backaches, arthritis and nerve pain has been a core responsibility of the medical profession for ages. On the other hand, deaths and emergency room visits from overdoses of prescription painkillers have skyrocketed. I believe that addiction is a disease. So why do I find my patient's lies so hard to forgive?...

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).

Teens World-Wide Self-Medicate With Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs
HBNS STORY | 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.

Online Social Networking Linked to Use of Web for Health Info
HBNS STORY | 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.

Few Overweight People with Diabetes Getting Recommended Physical Activity
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

Obese or Overweight Teens More Likely to Become Smokers
HBNS STORY | 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
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.

Leaving Their Pediatricians Tough for Some Teens with Chronic Conditions
HBNS STORY | 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
HBNS STORY | 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.

What Health Insurers Told CFAH About Patient Engagement
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 20, 2014 | CFAH Staff
"Most health plans view engagement as important and want to support it. But they recognize that they are only one (relatively weak) factor in supporting patient/consumer engagement... Their customers want their insurance premiums going to medical care, not a bunch of mailings about things they already know they should do..." – Arthur Southam, MD – Executive Vice President of Health Plan Operations, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Oakland, CA

Anxiety Associated With Ulcer Risk
HBNS STORY | 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.

What Policy Makers Told CFAH About Patient Engagement
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 13, 2014 | CFAH Staff
"Since patients don't live in a vacuum, we must also involve the community in which patients live, work, and play. Community resources must be readily available to meet the needs of the population they serve. Also, as we begin to have patients and families engaged in their care and talk to peers and extended family members, they begin to model engagement to others. We are looking for 'engaged communities.'" - Jean Moody-Williams - Group Director, CMS Quality Improvement Group, Baltimore, MD

Clever Hospitals Find Another Way to Snag New Patients
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 13, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
As I sat on a New York subway one sizzler of a day, an ad for an ice cream cone grabbed my attention. After a closer read, I realized the ad was not touting ice cream but the Center for Advanced Digestive Care, a part of New York Presbyterian, one of the city's most prestigious hospitals and well known for its TV ads designed to cultivate brand recognition. The ice cream cone was an effective attention-grabber. So was the message…

Mental Health Screening in Primary Care Helps Veterans
HBNS STORY | 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.

Seven Things You Can Do to Help Reduce Prescription Errors
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 4, 2014 | Margaret Polaneczky
I just got off the phone with a very upset patient who discovered that her pharmacy has been giving her the wrong medication for the past five months. Despite all our fancy technology and advances in health care, medication errors can and will occur. So what can you do, as a patient, to be sure that your prescriptions are correct?...

Ingenious Hospitals Find a New Way to Snag Patients
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 29, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
A mother takes her teenage son to an urgent care center that is part of her insurance plan's network. A clerk quickly refers him to the emergency room, across the street, which just happens to be part of the same hospital system as the urgent care center. Is this UCC sending some patients to its related hospital ER, clearly a place of high-priced care, to gin up revenue for the system's bottom line?...

When Does a Patient Need to Be Seen?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 28, 2014 | Anne Polta
You need a refill for a prescription that's about to run out. You've taken the medication for years without any problems and can't think of any reason why the prescription can't just be automatically continued. But the doctor won't order a refill unless you make an appointment and come in to be seen. Is this an unfair burden on the patient or due diligence by the doctor?...

When It Comes to Health Disparities, Place Matters More Than Race
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

Asthma Drugs Suppress Growth
HBNS STORY | 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.

Neighborhoods with Healthy Food Options Less Likely to Have Overweight Kids
HBNS STORY | 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.

How to Pick a Primary Care Physician
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 7, 2014 | Reed Tuckson
As the former chief of medical affairs of UnitedHealth Group, I'm privileged to listen to the good people of this country talk about their health care. When it comes to choosing a doctor, do you know what I've learned? Most of us spend more time researching our next electronic gadget than researching our doctor. Except choosing the right doctor has significantly more impact on your life than any gadget...

Mental Health Wins When Teens Play School Sports
HBNS STORY | 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.

Growing Up Poor Impacts Physical and Mental Health in Young Adults
HBNS STORY | 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.

Don't Let the Sun Shine Down on Me (It's Too Complicated!)
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 18, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
I'm impressed by how much we struggle with seemingly simple health decisions when faced with sorting through too much information. Every week we view diverse arrays of products with health, convenience and cosmetic claims competing for our attention. Think yogurt, Gatorade, running shoes, breakfast cereal...Given the ubiquity of such products and the swirl of marketing and science- or non-science-based information surrounding each, I'm wondering three things...

Psychological Distress Affects Tobacco Use Differently for Men and Women
HBNS STORY | 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.

Don't Forget the Hefty Price We Pay to Engage in Health
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 12, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
Media-fueled flip-flops and research breakthroughs on lifestyle and health behaviors are wearing down my usual patience with the provisional nature of science. Even simple dietary recommendations like lower fat/salt recommendations have become complicated as old truisms are overturned by new evidence. So I'm asking: To whom should I turn for meaningful guidance about modifying my risk for illness and boosting my health?

Customized Text Messages Can Help Smokers Quit
HBNS STORY | 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.

Stop Expecting Antibiotics to Be Handed Out Routinely: Here's Why
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 10, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
For years, my colleagues on the Prepared Patient site have preached the importance of being an advocate for your own care. And they've noted that at times it is necessary to push back against doctors' recommendations if a suggested treatment does not seem right. I just returned from a visit to the U.K., which drove home the importance of that advice...

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.

Smokers Slow to Embrace Routine Use of Electronic Cigarettes
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

Families with Preschoolers Buying Fewer High Calorie Foods and Beverages
HBNS STORY | 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
HBNS STORY | 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.

Getting Good Care: 'I Wish It Were More Newsworthy. I'm Afraid It's Not.'
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 21, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
Unfortunately, the nitty gritty of getting good care is not really newsworthy, unless we're talking about how poor it is. However, there are opportunities for journalists and writers to report "news you can use" that would be very helpful to many people, and there is a big gap in reporting on most of these necessary tasks...

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.

Many Smokers Still Surprised by Facts About Tobacco's Dangers
HBNS STORY | 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
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.

So Much Incorrect Health Information Online
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 13, 2014 | CFAH Staff
How do we know which search results are true and which ones aren't? While you can find high-quality health information online, search results related to nutrition, fitness and preventive health vary widely in quality. And the actions we take (or don't take) as a result of the information we find can be hazardous...

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...

More Patient Education, Not Physician Training, Helps Control Diabetes
HBNS STORY | 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.

Medication Cocktails: Not Every Mix Is Safe
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 5, 2014 | CFAH Staff
One in every five older Americans takes medications that work against each other. And some interactions between prescription drugs and supplements can pose dangerous health risks. So what must we do to make sure that we benefit from the drugs we take?

Calorie Disclosures Might Actually Improve Health
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 29, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
I've long been a skeptic when it comes to disclosing information about how doctors practice medicine, how hospitals treat patients and what both doctors and hospitals charge for their services. But I'm dropping my skepticism about disclosing calories in food. We've been conditioned to think of some foods as healthier than others. Only labels will reveal the truth...

Public Health Centers Deliver Equal or Better Quality of Care
HBNS STORY | 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.

Doctors as Coaches, Giving Up the High Horse
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 21, 2014 | Milly Dawson
A recent conference at Harvard Medical School brought together scores of physicians who want to live healthfully themselves and to work as partners with their patients to help them do the same. I've attended many medical meetings but never one as much fun or as health promoting for participants as this one...

Blacks with Financial Worries Have Lower Health Scores
HBNS STORY | 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.

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...

Weight Loss Efforts Start Well, but Lapse Over Time
HBNS STORY | 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.

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 Goldilocks Approach to Our Health Knowledge: How Much Is Just Right?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 26, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
Most professional health care stakeholders believe that the more we patients and caregivers know about our health and diseases, the better our outcomes will be. When faced with the facts about our health risks and dangerous habits, they think we will rationally change our behaviors and correct our misunderstandings. As a patient, I want to know: At what point do I know enough to reap these hypothetical benefits?

Do People Really Want to Tech Their Way to Health?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 25, 2014 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn
The hockey-stick growth of "wearable technology" seen at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show begs the question: Will people pay out-of-pocket for gadgets that help them measure their steps, track their sleep, quantify their calories, record their heart rate and feedback their mood? A caveat emptor to investors seeing short-term dollar signs in the digital health sector...

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...

Parents Should Team with Kids to Encourage Exercise
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

Evidence Mixed on the Usefulness of Echinacea for Colds
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

With Training, Friends and Family Can Help Loved Ones Quit Tobacco
HBNS STORY | 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.

Contradictory Nutrition News Creates Consumer Confusion
HBNS STORY | 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.

Sticking With Resolutions Is All About Preparation
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 27, 2014 | David L. Katz
Relevant research and conventional wisdom alike suggest that, despite their irresistible perennial tug on our collective conscience, New Year's resolutions generally have about the staying power of Champagne bubbles. In contrast, the science of sustainable behavior change tips convincingly toward "don't go until ready."

Gap in Life Expectancy Between Rural and Urban Residents Is Growing
HBNS STORY | 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.

Welcome Shifts in Primary Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 23, 2014 | CFAH Staff
What exactly is primary care? There have been a number of news stories lately that point to shifts in its traditional definitions and in what patients can (or should) expect to receive from primary care providers...

Sedentary Lifestyles Up Mortality Risks for Older Women
HBNS STORY | 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.

NBC Vastly Exaggerates the Potential Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 16, 2014 | Gary Schwitzer
When we talk about a consistently clear pattern of news stories that exaggerate or emphasize benefits while minimizing or ignoring harms, we are talking about stories exactly like this one...

What Does It Take to Get 'Better Living Through Medications' These Days?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 15, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
Lately, the public's faith in the safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs has been making me uneasy. Why do so many of us continue to purchase pills that are not effective in causing weight loss, swallow syrups that promise to cure diabetes, and fiddle with our medication-taking regimens?...

Few Primary Care Practices Provide Effective Weight Management Care
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

Lack of Access Still to Blame
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 7, 2014 | CFAH Staff
What's the key to reducing costly emergency room visits and readmissions? People who lack convenient access to a health care provider, with or without insurance, return to the emergency department or hospital out of need and desperation...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 8): Who's Who In Your Doctor's Office
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 2, 2014 | Be a Prepared Patient
In the eighth and final part of our series, we explain who the various people are in your doctor's office, from nurse practitioners to lab technicians. Knowing their different roles can make your visit go more smoothly...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 6): 10 Steps to Making a Doctor's Appointment
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 31, 2013 | Be a Prepared Patient
In part six of our series, you'll find out what key pieces of information you need to know about your new doctor's office. Keep it handy with your personal health records or household files...

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...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 1): Getting Covered
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 23, 2013 | CFAH Staff
In part one of our series, we look at the basics of picking a health insurance plan that's right for you, your family or a loved one. Our 'Be a Prepared Patient' resources can help you find the best coverage at the best price for your health needs...

Who’s Who in Your Doctor’s Office
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors
Medical offices have a lot of staff but one common goal—helping you, the patient. Here are some of the people you may meet during your doctor’s appointment.

Massachusetts Residents Healthier After Health Care Reform
HBNS STORY | December 12, 2013
Residents of Massachusetts saw small gains in health status following the enactment of a state-wide health insurance mandate in 2006, finds a new study in the Milbank Quarterly.

Wellness at Work
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 5, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service
Is your company one of the many that are now offering "wellness programs"? Our latest Be a Prepared Patient article, Staying Well at Work, looks at a few of these programs in action and offers tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance...

Combining Alcohol With Energy Drinks Can Lead to Heavier Drinking
HBNS STORY | December 3, 2013
Young people who mix alcohol with a caffeinated energy drink drank more heavily and reported more negative consequences of drinking than those who just drank alcohol, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Color Us Stressed – How to Deal
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 2, 2013 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn
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.

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...

Alcohol Use Disorders Linked to Death and Disability
HBNS STORY | November 26, 2013
Disorders related to the abuse of alcohol contribute significantly to the burden of disease in the U.S., finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Should Patients Be Responsible for Physician Hand-Washing?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 26, 2013 | David Williams
For the past few years I’ve heard suggestions that patients should take a more active role in their health care by asking doctors to wash their hands. I strongly disagree...

For Many People with Diabetes, Lifestyle Changes Trump Medications
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 21, 2013 | Milly Dawson
Three key patient engagement themes emerged from this year's 'Diabetes + Innovation 2013' conference in Washington, D.C., organized by Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School...

Reducing Obesity: It Takes a Village
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 20, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman
During my recent visit to Canada, I had a chance to meet obesity expert and medical director of Canada's Bariatric Medicine Institute, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. What he had to say was somewhat surprising...

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.

Staying Well at Work
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
More and more employers are offering workplace wellness programs-but do they work?

Tips for Workplace Health
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health
Quick tips for integrating healthy habits into your work day

Race a Bigger Health Care Barrier Than Insurance Status
HBNS STORY | November 7, 2013
Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to visit a health care professional, even with health insurance, finds a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Teen Athletes at Risk for Medication Misuse
HBNS STORY | November 10, 2013
Male adolescents who participate in organized sports are more likely to be prescribed opioid medications and misuse them than male teens that don’t play sports, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

This Doctor Treats Poverty Like a Disease
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 6, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman
What would you think if your doctor handed you a prescription that recommended filing your tax returns or applying for food stamps instead of the usual medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes...

Teens with Late Bedtimes Have Lower Grades
HBNS STORY | November 10, 2013
Late bedtimes during the school year, especially in younger teens, predicted a lower cumulative grade point average and more emotional distress by college age, finds a new article in Journal of Adolescent Health.

Is Everything We Know About Nutrition Wrong?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 31, 2013 | Inside Health Care
Millions of dollars are spent on dietary research, but are we any closer to understanding what a truly healthy diet consists of? A few new studies are turning long-held recommendations on their heads.

Banning Workplace Smoking Not Enough
HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013
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.

Lifestyle Behaviors Key to Post-Deployment Health of Veterans
HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013
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.

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"?

Veterans Groups Miss Opportunities to Curb Tobacco Use
HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013
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.

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...

Students with Fake IDs at Greater Risk for Alcohol Abuse
HBNS STORY | October 17, 2013
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.

Weight Loss Apps Lack Key Ingredients for Success
HBNS STORY | October 10, 2013
Weight loss mobile applications may work well as basic tracking devices, but need to do more to help dieters, according to a new report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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.

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...

Taking Care of Your Teeth
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Get Preventive Health Care
Advice for finding good dental care for you and your loved ones.

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.

Getting Health Insurance
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care
Don’t have health insurance? Here’s advice on how to find the right insurance for your needs.

Less than 10 Minutes of Brisk Activity Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
HBNS STORY | September 5, 2013
Short bursts of less than 10 minutes of higher-intensity physical activity reduce the risk of obesity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Kids Get More Exercise in Smart Growth Neighborhoods
HBNS STORY | September 10, 2013
Children who live in smart growth neighborhoods, designed to improve walkability, get 46 percent more moderate or vigorous physical activity than those who live in conventional neighborhoods, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Employers Can Motivate Employees to Get Moving
HBNS STORY | July 30, 2013
Workplace efforts to encourage employees to increase physical activity are most effective when they incorporate tools such as pedometers and related electronic health information, finds a new review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

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

Cumulative Burden: The Real Barrier to Adherence for Complex Patients?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 26, 2013 | Donna Cryer
Recently, I participated in an excellent meeting, (Patient Summit USA 2013), whose primary theme was patient adherence. Thankfully the other speakers had all moved beyond the notion that "patients forget to take their medication" and that adherence can be solved by fancy pill caps or bottles; yet I was struck that most did not yet fully appreciate the challenges of a complete adherence picture, particularly for patients on multiple therapies.

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.

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.

First Sips of Alcohol Start in Second Grade
HBNS STORY | June 18, 2013
The age at which many children in the U.S. take their first sip of alcohol is surprisingly young, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Taxing Unhealthy Food Spurs People to Buy Less
HBNS STORY | June 18, 2013
Labeling foods and beverages as less healthy and taxing them motivates people to make healthier choices, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Do Corporate Wellness Programs Work?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 5, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman
On a recent trip to Lincoln, NE, I visited Lincoln Industries, a company that makes chrome trims for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I was curious about the firm’s award-winning wellness program, especially since more employers are penalizing workers by making them pay more for their health insurance if they fail to meet certain health goals.

Parents’ Activity Unlikely to Influence Teen Fitness
HBNS STORY | May 28, 2013
Teens don’t necessarily follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to physical activity, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Providing Workplace Wellness Centers Could Backfire
HBNS STORY | May 2, 2013
People who signed up for a workplace wellness center but then used it infrequently experienced declines in their mental quality-of-life, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Smoking Prevention in Schools: Does it Work?
HBNS STORY | April 30, 2013
Smoking prevention in schools reduces the number of young people who will later become smokers, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Latest Health Behavior News
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 25, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service
Brought to you by CFAH’s Health Behavior News Service: Depressed teens have rocky twenties | Gym benefits, yes. Extra costs, no thanks | Church goers look to ministry for health advice | Just say no to smoking in public housing

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.

False Alarms and Unrealistic Expectations in Preventive Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 28, 2013 | Kenny Lin
Shortly after we moved to Washington, DC, my wife and I purchased a basic home security system, the kind with a programmable keypad, multiple door alarms and a motion sensor. All things considered, it's hard to argue that the benefits of this preventive measure have outweighed its cumulative harms.

Too Much Medical Care: Do We Know It When We See It?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 11, 2013 | Kenny Lin
If I didn't object to receiving what I recognized as too much medical care, it should not be a surprise that, according to one study, many inappropriate tests and treatments are being provided more often, not less.

Mandating Fruits & Vegetables in School Meals Makes a Difference
HBNS STORY | March 12, 2013
State laws that require minimum levels of fruits and vegetables in school meals may give a small boost to the amount of these foods in adolescents' diets, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Screening Decisions Are Better Informed When Risk Information Is Personalized
HBNS STORY | February 28, 2013
Patients’ ability to make genuinely informed choices about undergoing disease screening increases when the risk information that they receive is related to their own personal risk, rather than average risks, according to the results of a Cochrane systematic review.

Current Evidence Does Not Support Selenium for Preventing Heart Disease in Well-Nourished Adults
HBNS STORY | January 31, 2013
A systematic review published today in The Cochrane Library finds that in well-nourished adults current evidence does not support selenium for preventing heart disease.

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.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health
Maintaining healthy habits can be tough. Here are some trusted resources with advice on exercise, nutrition, and managing chronic conditions.

Improving Your Health Behaviors
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health
Want to change something about your health behavior? Here's some advice.

Getting Support for Healthy Living
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health
Sometimes it can be easier to live well with help from others. Here are some helpful sites to connect with organizations and people who understand what you’re going through.

Talking About Medical Tests
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors
Doctors run tests to check your health or to figure out what’s wrong. Here are some basic questions you should ask about medical tests.

Facts About Vitamins and Supplements
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health
Should you take vitamins or supplements for good health? Here are some facts.

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.

Promote Your Health
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health
Healthy eating, activity, and safety habits help us live for as long and as well as we can.

Organize Your Health Care
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Organize Your Health Care

Exercise Can Extend Your Life by as Much as Five Years
HBNS STORY | December 11, 2012
Adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week live longer than those who don’t, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Most People with Hepatitis C Go Untreated, Despite Effective Drugs
HBNS STORY | December 10, 2012
Just 20 percent of people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) begin the recommended treatment regimen and less than 5 percent go on to successfully overcome the virus, according to a new review in General Hospital Psychiatry. Untreated substance abuse and depression are among the barriers to care.

Communicate With Your Doctors
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors
You and your doctor need accurate information from each other. Open communication with your doctor is one of the most important factors in getting and staying healthy.

Less than 25 Percent of Americans Walk for More Than Ten Minutes
HBNS STORY | November 6, 2012
Many people in the U.S. do not walk, bike or engage in other forms of active transportation, missing an important opportunity to improve their cardiovascular health, concludes a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads Increase Attempts to Quit
HBNS STORY | October 9, 2012
Graphic and/or emotional television anti-smoking ads showing the health effects of smoking get more smokers to make an attempt try to quit than less intense ads, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Even With Personalized Assessments, Many Underestimate Disease Risks
HBNS STORY | September 11, 2012
People with a family history of certain diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, often underestimate their risk for developing them, even after completing a risk assessment and receiving personalized prevention messages, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Fruit and Vegetable Advertising Linked to More Consumption
HBNS STORY | September 4, 2012
The key to getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables may be advertising, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

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.

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.

TV Watching Linked to Eating Unhealthy Food
HBNS STORY | July 10, 2012
Adults and children who watch more television have less healthy diets, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. For every age and gender studied, people who watched no more than an hour of TV a day reported healthier diets compared to those who watched four hours or more.

Uncomfortable with being Comfortable
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 19, 2012 | Chris Gibbons
Fitness maven Jeanette Jenkins recently tweeted that to see big results you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In other words, making change happen, inevitably leads to emotional or physical discomfort. If you are serious about change you must be willing to endure a lot of discomfort.

People with Mood Disorders Are More Likely to Be Re-Hospitalized
HBNS STORY | June 19, 2012
A new study published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry found that patients were more likely to be hospitalized and re-hospitalized soon after being discharged if they have mood disorders.

Banning the Big Gulp: Bold Initiative or Bad Idea?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 14, 2012 | Inside Health Care
"Who should be responsible for the health of Americans?" "What's the best way to break society's bad habits?" Questions like these poured in following New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Electronic Devices with Reminders Make Sticking to Diets Easier
HBNS STORY | June 5, 2012
There’s some good news for those trying to lose weight with the help of new apps on their mobile devices. They may actually work, says a new research study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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.

Reading, Writing, Weight Control?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 15, 2012 | Conversation Continues
"If you believe this is a massive national problem, you have to deal with it in a systems way," says, Dan Glickman, chair of an Institute of Medicine panel/report, "Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention".

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.

Employee Wellness Programs: The Carrot or the Stick?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 23, 2012 | Conversation Continues
Employee wellness programs can't work if employees don't participate. So, what's the motivation? Incentives or mandatory participation?

Worm Therapy For Hay Fever? More Research is Needed
HBNS STORY | April 18, 2012
Purposely infecting patients with hookworms or whipworms to treat hay fever and other immune-related diseases has been experimented with since the 1970s. A new review by The Cochrane Library concludes that current evidence doesn’t yet support the use of this therapy. However, worm therapy does appear to be safe, the review’s lead author says.

Getting Kids to Be Active
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 26, 2012 | Conversation Continues
Getting kids to eat well and exercise can be a tough sell. Are so-called "fat-shaming" books and exhibits the answer?

What Does it Mean if Primary Care Doctors Get the Answers Wrong About Screening Stats?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 22, 2012 | Elaine Schattner
Recently the Annals of Internal Medicine published a new report on how doctors (don't) understand cancer screening stats. This unusual paper reveals that some primary care physicians a majority of those who completed a survey don't really get the numbers on cancer incidence, 5-year survival and mortality.

Teen Smoking: An Epidemic?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 15, 2012 | Inside Health Care
A new report from the U.S. surgeon general's office estimates 3,800 kids light their first cigarette every day and tobacco companies spend more than $1 million an hour marketing and promoting tobacco products.

Simple, Common BMI Data Stored in e-Records can Identify Patients with Heart Disease Risk
HBNS STORY | March 13, 2012
New research released online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that body mass index (BMI) data, commonly available in electronic medical records, can accurately identify adults between 30 and 74 years-old at risk for cardiovascular (heart) disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

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?

Quitting Smoking Results in Minimal Weight Gain
HBNS STORY | February 17, 2012
The declining rate of smoking is unlikely to be a major contributor to the recent increases in the incidence of obesity. While quitting smoking might cause some people to gain weight, the amount gained will probably be small, reports a new study in Health Services Research.

No Support Shown for the Use of Pycnogenol® for Chronic Disorders
HBNS STORY | February 15, 2012
The manufacturer of a dietary supplement made from French pine bark, Pycnogenol®, markets it widely for the prevention or treatment of many chronic disorders, ranging from asthma to erectile dysfunction, but a recent systematic review found no sound basis for the claims.

Diabetes: 'Valuable Truths about Food and Consequences'
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 13, 2012 | Conversation Continues
From celebrity chefs, to health news journalists, to the National Institutes of Health people are talking about the increasing rate of diabetes, what causes it, and what to do about it.

Tweetchat with Jessie Gruman Today at 2PM on Overtesting and Overtreating in Health Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 1, 2012 | CFAH Staff
Join @jessiegruman, Otis Brawley MD, Executive VP of ACS and other experts on Twitter today at 2PM with ABC's @DrRichardBesser for a Tweetchat about overtesting and overtreating in health care. Use hash tag #abcdrbchat.

Young Adults Taking the Health Care Reins
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
Your parents still might be willing to do your laundry, but if you’re over 18, they can’t make your medical decisions. Are you ready to navigate the adult health care system?

Guest Blog: Super Bowl Sanitation: "Washed Up" Giants Outpoint Docs
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 31, 2012 | Michael Millenson
Is the New York Giants bathroom more sanitary than your hospital room? Could be. And that player cleanliness may even have helped send the team to the Super Bowl.

Guest Blog: Old Public Health Guy's Plea: Don't Wear Your Headphones All the Time
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 27, 2012 | Douglas Kamerow
I propose that people stop wearing headphones when they are out in public...More serious than harming your hearing...it appears that earphone use in public can actually endanger your life.

Most People Fudge Numbers on Weight and Height Surveys
HBNS STORY | January 27, 2012
When people in the U.S. are asked to provide their weight for research surveys, they underestimate their weight and overestimate their height, despite numerous public reports about increasing rates of obesity. Whites are more likely to do so than Blacks or Hispanics, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Signs Prove Effective in Prompting People to Use Stairs Instead of Elevator
HBNS STORY | January 17, 2012
Signs that read, “Burn Calories, Not Electricity” posted in lobbies of New York City buildings, motivated more people to take the stairs?and continue to use them even months later, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Small Steps to Big Health Change
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
We often give a chilly reception to the idea of going "cold turkey" when it comes to anything that has to do with changing behaviors and habits, even those that may be important for our health.

1st Person: Small Steps: Adapting to New Technology for Better Health
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 12, 2012 | First Person
Joan Reder, a person with diabetes, spends her days working as a medical transcriptionist, so you might assume she'd be pretty comfortable with anything involving medicine. But recently, the 59 year-old was faced with the daunting prospect of converting from her familiar daily insulin injections to an insulin pump, which would continuously monitor her blood glucose and deliver insulin to her body when needed.

Prepared Patient: Small Steps to Big Health Change
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 12, 2012 | Health Behavior News Service
The task of changing our routine behaviors and habits ' even those that may be important for our health ' can seem overwhelming. No wonder: habits become habits because they give us something we think we need. Maybe they make us feel better or they bring comfort, familiarity or convenience to our lives. We also worry that we won't be successful. It turns out, the key to lasting behavior change is taking small steps.

A New Year and a New Big Picture Look at Weight Loss?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 9, 2012 | Inside Health Care
With New Years resolutions still fresh, weight loss is all over the news, and many Americans' minds are firmly resolved to lose weight. However, their bodies and fast food restaurants may be equally determined that they fail.

1st Person: At 98, Bob Stewart Would Rather Be Dancing
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 27, 2011 | First Person
Bob Stewart, who will turn 99 this May, began taking supplements in 2000, when he was in his late 80s. The retired podiatrist is also a strong believer in keeping active. He takes exercise classes at least three times a week and participates in numerous community activities, including a local men's chorus.

Prepared Patient: Vitamins & Supplements: Before You Dive In
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 27, 2011 | Health Behavior News Service
At 98 years old, Bob Stewart swears by his dietary supplements as a secret to successful aging. He takes flaxseed and apple cider vinegar pills, along with a Japanese supplement called nattokinase. He has never had a 'bad experience' or side effects, he says. But Betsy McMillan, an Ohio writer, describes her overdose from a vitamin B complex supplement. After a few weeks of taking it'in which she never exceeded the dose recommended on the bottle'her liver began to swell and she was overwhelmed by fatigue. It turned out that the pills contained potentially fatal levels of niacin.

Who Gets Preventive Care?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 19, 2011 | Trudy Lieberman
Who doesn't think preventive health care is important? Probably nobody if you ask this question abstractly. But when it comes to getting it - well that's a different matter.

Group Programs to Prevent Childhood Depression Prove Effective
HBNS STORY | December 7, 2011
Psychological interventions to prevent depression in children and adolescents can be useful, with protective effects that last for up to a year, finds a new systematic review in The Cochrane Library.

E-Learning Programs May Do Little to Change Eating Habits
HBNS STORY | October 26, 2011
With more people turning to the Internet and smart phones to help them with everything from exercising to quitting smoking, it appears applications, or “apps” as they are popularly known, intended to change eating habits may not make much of a difference, according to a new review.

Patient Engagement: Expert Judith Hibbard Talks about Challenges
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 24, 2011 | Judith Hibbard
This interview with Judy Hibbard is the seventh 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.

I am Not My iPhone
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 5, 2011 | Jessie Gruman
There is excitement in the air about how mobile phones are the breakthrough technology for changing health behavior. Last Saturday, I was convinced this must be true. In two short hours, I...

Nine Out of 10 of Us Like Health-Related Numbers
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 7, 2011 | Jessie Gruman
It is not just when we are seriously ill that numbers dominate our experience with health care. Advances in technology have made it possible to quantify and thus monitor a seemingly infinite number of physiological and psychological health-related states.

Natural Surroundings Might Lower Obesity
HBNS STORY | September 1, 2011
New research from North Carolina finds that people who live in counties with better weather and more natural features like hills and lakes are more active and thinner than their counterparts.

Smoking Bans Motivate Even Reluctant Women to Quit
HBNS STORY | September 1, 2011
A new study finds that women smokers who live and work where bans are enforced, even those had no previous plans to stop smoking, are more likely to attempt quitting.

Technical Difficulties: Houston, We Have a Problem'
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 25, 2011 | Patient Perspectives
Advances in health technology have meant that many illnesses now come with electronic devices used to detect, measure, or alleviate them. But, even the newest instrument can be problematic. Here, four patients share their tech-related stories.

Excess Weight in Young Adulthood Predicts Shorter Lifespan
HBNS STORY | August 16, 2011
Those 25-year-olds who are overweight now but think they will be fine as long as they lose weight eventually might need to reconsider.

Teen Well-Being Spills Over Into Young Adult Health
HBNS STORY | July 19, 2011
A new study finds that teens with a positive sense of well-being are more likely to report being healthy in young adulthood.

Strength Training Curbs Hip, Spinal Bone Loss in Women With Osteoporosis
HBNS STORY | July 12, 2011
An updated review of studies confirms that compared to staying sedentary, strength exercises boost bone density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Large Study Reaffirms H1N1, Seasonal Flu Vaccine Safety
HBNS STORY | July 5, 2011
H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines do not put patients at risk for neurologic conditions, a large new study shows.

Children With Bedroom TVs Might Be at Greater Obesity Risk
HBNS STORY | April 29, 2011
A study of Hispanic children found that those with TVs in their bedrooms were more likely to be overweight. “Bedroom TVs lead to more screen time, sedentary behavior, less parental support of physical activity and increased fast food intake,” researchers found.

Prepared Patient: Vitamins & Supplements: Before You Dive In
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 5, 2011 | Health Behavior News Service
At 98 years old, Bob Stewart swears by his dietary supplements as a secret to successful aging. He takes flaxseed and apple cider vinegar pills, along with a Japanese supplement called nattokinase. He has never had a 'bad experience' or side effects, he says. But Betsy McMillan, an Ohio writer, describes her overdose from a vitamin B complex supplement. After a few weeks of taking it'in which she never exceeded the dose recommended on the bottle'her liver began to swell and she was overwhelmed by fatigue. It turned out that the pills contained potentially fatal levels of niacin.

Exercising to Government Standards Could Lower Your Death Risk
HBNS STORY | April 5, 2011
Following federal government recommendations on exercise might lead to a longer life for all adults, according to a new study nearly 250,000 Americans.

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.

More Questions About Medical Tests
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 12, 2011 | Conversation Continues

CT Scans
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 7, 2011 | Inside Health Care
Our latest Prepared Patient, Medical Testing: You Need Answers, offers guidance on how to talk to your doctor about medical tests and what to consider before and after the test. Here are related thoughts from other blogs-Dr. John Schumann of GlassHospital, Dr. Michael Kirsch of MD Whistleblower, and Anna Sayburn on Consumer Reports Health Blog. Recent feature articles on medical tests from The Wall Street Journal & the ACPHospitalist are also included.

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.

Why Medical Testing Is Never a Simple Decision
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 20, 2010 | Marya Zilberberg
A women goes from healthy to heart transplant patient in just a few weeks. Could this have been avoided? True positives, false positives, false negatives, true negatives'how can we understand and use our test results to make good treatment decisions?

Prepared Patient: Medical Testing: You Need Answers
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 20, 2010 | Health Behavior News Service
Deborah Lewis got a shock when her pain management clinic called about a recent MRI test: They told me I needed to see an oncologist right away, that I had tumors on my spine. An oncologist did a lot of tests even though he said the MRI report didn't indicate anywhere that I had tumors or cancer. In fact, Lewis just had benign tumors common to her chronic medical condition. After a lot of wasted money, time and a whole lot of fear, we learned to question all test results,' she says.

Talking About Medical Tests With Your Health Care Team
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
Whether you're healthy or ill, there are a variety of medical tests your health care team might recommend for you.

Conversation Continues: Health News We're Watching
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 12, 2010 | CFAH Staff
Slate picks up on news about the recent Lung Cancer CT Scan study, which was also covered by Gary Schwitzer and others, in this Explainer column: Full-Body Scam: Should you ask your doctor to CT scan you from head to toe?

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.

Emotional and Physical Wellness Might Be Linked to Longer Life
HBNS STORY | October 5, 2010

Could Less Health Care Be Better for Our Health?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 4, 2010 | Jim Jaffe

Desk Jobs Could Derail Health, Review Suggests
HBNS STORY | September 7, 2010

Hooked on Headphones? Personal Listening Devices Can Harm Hearing
HBNS STORY | August 31, 2010

From the Department of "Gosh! Why Didn't I Think of That?"
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 18, 2010 | Jessie Gruman
For every problem there is a solution which is simple, clean and wrong.- Henry Louis Mencken

Americans Cut Risk of Heart Disease Death in Half, Prevention Is Key
HBNS STORY | August 3, 2010

Who's Got My Back?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 27, 2010 | Jessie Gruman
Last week The New York Times published a front-page feature about how diagnosing breast cancer can be surprisingly difficult, prone to both outright error and case-by-case disagreement over whether a cluster of cells is benign or malignant.

Watched, Loved and Now Desired by Millions
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 20, 2010 | Dorothy Jeffress
If popular culture provides clues to social trends then all signs point to an American public captivated by red velvet, carrot, lemon, and raspberry. Fabric, fruits and vegetables? No cakes whether of the cup variety or fancy full-size versions.

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.

Older Americans Watch More TV, But Enjoy It Less
HBNS STORY | June 29, 2010

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?

Consider Teen Activity Options When Choosing Where to Live
HBNS STORY | May 27, 2010

Iron Supplements Effectively Treat Kids’ Breath-Holding Spells
HBNS STORY | May 11, 2010

Deaths Would Drop With More Preventive Services
HBNS STORY | May 4, 2010

Seeking Health Info? Print Media Readers Make Healthier Choices
HBNS STORY | May 4, 2010

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.

Smokers Who Quit Gradually or Cold Turkey Have Similar Success
HBNS STORY | March 16, 2010

Common Cold Symptoms Not Washed Away by Nose Irrigation
HBNS STORY | March 16, 2010

Treating Swimmer’s Ear Just Got Simpler
HBNS STORY | January 19, 2010

Would Medical Images Spur You to Change Risky Health Behaviors?
HBNS STORY | January 19, 2010

Women With Partner, Baby Gain More Weight Than Single Women
HBNS STORY | January 5, 2010