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Taking an Active Role in Your Recovery
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 12, 2014 | Alexandra Rosas
I was once someone who never felt that I'd be normal again. But recovery is made up of small steps that lead us to a successful life – these steps toward wellness matter, because being active versus passive about your recovery greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome...

Why Attend a Patient Support Group Twenty Years Later? 'Because I Remember'
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 3, 2014 | Jack Aiello
I was reluctant to attend. I didn't have leukemia and am not a "touchy-feely" person, which was my perception of a support group. However, I dragged my IV pole of medications and went to this meeting where I met my first fellow myeloma patient named Jim – finally, someone who had the same disease as me. So to this day, whenever I meet with one or a group of myeloma patients, I make the following plea...

Nearly Half of Older Americans Need Support With Daily Routines
HBNS STORY | 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."

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.

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.

Family History of Undertreatment May Discourage Blacks from Seeking Mental Health Care
HBNS STORY | 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.

Lacking Trust in One's Doctor Affects Health of Emotionally Vulnerable Cancer Patients
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

Bring a Companion to Your Next Doctor's Appointment
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 26, 2014 | Danny van Leeuwen
Should you bring someone with you to your next doctor's appointment? If you're asking, the answer is yes. If you're asked, how do you be the best companion? Prep in advance, listen, record and ask questions. Know why you're going. That means two things...

All You Do Is Complain About Health Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 25, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
"All your Prepared Patient essays do is complain about your health care and your doctors. That's why I don't read them." Yowzah! Do I really complain? Not to be defensive, but I don't think so. Every week I work to vividly describe insights that might shine a little light on this project that patients, caregivers, clinicians and policymakers – well, the list goes on – share of trying to make health care more effective and fair...

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.

What Would Mom Want?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 23, 2014 | Michael Wasserman
We've watched it many times on television or in a movie: The patient lies in the intensive care unit, gravely ill, with the family at the bedside. The doctor walks into the room and asks, "What do you want us to do?" and opens up a huge can of worms that is, in fact, ethically incorrect. The first priority that a physician has is to their patient...

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.

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.

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.

When Your Partner Resists Your Health Care Advice
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 20, 2014 | Barbara Kivowitz
As a very stubborn and advice-resisting ill partner myself, I can't say if this issue is gender-specific. But I do know it's an issue most couples dealing with illness face, more than once. Here are my two suggestions for what to do when your partner resists your advice...

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.

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.

My Partner, My Memory
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 15, 2014 | Barbara Kivowitz
I don't know if it's growing older, or New England winters, or the meds I take, or watching Homeland and Downton Abbey in the same week – but my memory isn't as crisp as it used to be. My partner, Richard, has become part of my cerebral cortex...

Double Discrimination Impacts Physical and Mental Health
HBNS STORY | 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
HBNS STORY | 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.

Patients Are Loyal to Their Doctors, Despite Performance Scores
HBNS STORY | 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Teens from Military Families Suffer from Deployments
HBNS STORY | November 19, 2013
Teens that have had a parent or sibling on military deployment were more likely to have suicidal thoughts or be depressed than teens without military connections, finds a new study in The Journal of Adolescent Health.

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.

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.

Teens with Chronic Illnesses Find It Hard to Stick to Treatment
HBNS STORY | October 29, 2013
Teens with a variety of chronic illnesses report facing similar barriers to taking their medications, according to a new review in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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.

Parents Play a Role in Teen Eating Disorders
HBNS STORY | October 3, 2013
The ways parents or caregivers interact with children around mealtimes can have unintended consequences, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

It May Not “Get Better” For Bisexual Teens
HBNS STORY | October 1, 2013
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that bisexual teens may be at risk for suicide even into young adulthood.

Survival Tips for Family Caregivers
If a family member or friend has a serious medical illness or procedure, you may be called on to provide care after your loved one leaves the hospital, emergency room or doctor’s office. Assisting with their health care needs frequently falls on untrained family members or friends.

Exercising with Others Helps College Students Reduce Stress
HBNS STORY | September 3, 2013
College students who exercise with friends are less likely to report feeling stressed, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

I Wish I'd Known Earlier...Palliative Care Is Not a Mandate Not to Treat
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 13, 2013 | Stephanie Sugars
When I signed up for palliative care in 2011, I thought I’d made my last medical decisions. In the future I’d take the least-invasive, lowest-cost approach to medical care and forego dramatic, expensive treatments. If only life with advanced cancer were so simple!

Bearing Witness
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 12, 2013 | John Schumann
I was naive when I decided to enter medicine. My impressions then were that doctors always “did” stuff—for patients, and to patients. We would do stuff to you (examinations, blood tests, scans, surgeries) in order to help you.

Latest Health Behavior News
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 9, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service
This week in health news: When dieting encouragement goes wrong | What works for more walking at work | Vaccines: Not just for babies | Health insurance matters for cancer survivors

Significant Others Can Influence Extreme Dieting
HBNS STORY | July 25, 2013
Women who are frequently encouraged by their significant others to lose weight are more likely to resort to unhealthy measures to do so, according to new research in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Doctors Don’t Provide Sexual Health Info to Teens
HBNS STORY | June 11, 2013
Most sexually active teens don’t get information about sexual health from their health care providers, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Cyberbullying Puts Teens at Risk
HBNS STORY | June 4, 2013
Teenage victims of cyberbullying, defined as the use of the internet or cell phones to send hurtful and harassing messages, are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, substance abuse and internet addiction, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Teens Experience Both Sides of Dating Violence
HBNS STORY | May 14, 2013
Teens in a relationship that involves dating violence are likely to be both a victim and perpetrator, as opposed to being just one or the other, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Churches Minister Better Health in African American Communities
HBNS STORY | April 9, 2013
African Americans who believe their church is responsible for promoting health in their members and the community are also more willing to attend church-based health fairs, according to a new study in Health Promotion Practice.

Caring For Loved Ones When Our Best Efforts Aren’t Enough
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 18, 2013 | Nora OBrien Suric
How many friends/family members/social workers does it take to change the mind of a frail person? Even if the frail person was/is one of the leading geriatric social workers in the country?

Latest Health Behavior News
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 7, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service
Recent health behavior research news stories: Friendships Are Good for Our Health | Obesity Lowers Quality of Life in Boys | Health Centers Have High Satisfaction Rates | Diabetes + Depression Increases Risk of Death

Friendships Are Good for Our Health
HBNS STORY | February 28, 2013
While participating in social activities and organizations promotes health, having personal ties with friends is even better, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Handling Treatment Side Effects
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Participate in Your Treatment
Sometimes treatment can produce troubling side effects. Here’s how to recognize them and what to do if you have them.

Participate in Your Treatment
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Participate in Your Treatment
Better health is more likely when we agree on a plan of action with our doctor and follow it.

Make Good Treatment Decisions
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Make Good Treatment Decisions
We must understand what our treatment choices are and their risks and benefits.

Mobile Phone Services Help Smokers Quit
HBNS STORY | November 13, 2012
Support for quitting smoking via text and video messages can help smokers kick the habit, according to a new Cochrane systematic review.

A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 13, 2012 | Jessie Gruman
The essays collected here reflect on what it felt like as a patient with a serious illness, to cobble together a plan with my clinicians that works and to slog through the treatments in the hope that my cancer will be contained or cured and that I will be able to resume the interesting life I love.

A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects

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

Social Networks Influence Flu Shot Decision among College Students
HBNS STORY | May 14, 2012
College students’ social networks influence their beliefs regarding the safety of influenza vaccines and decisions about vaccination, according to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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.

Most Teens with Juvenile Arthritis Use Complementary Medicine
HBNS STORY | March 13, 2012
Seventy-two percent of adolescents with juvenile arthritis use at least one form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but only 45 percent have discussions about it with their health care providers says a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Family Support Motivates Mexican-Americans to Adopt Healthy Habits
HBNS STORY | January 5, 2012
Encouragement from family members helps motivate Mexican-American adults to eat more fruits and vegetables and to engage in regular exercise, according to a new study in the current issue of American Journal of Health Promotion.

A Thanksgiving Reprise
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 1, 2011 | Patient Perspectives
During Thanksgiving week, many patient bloggers shared what they were thankful for. Though there were many ' here are what four of them had to say.

Socially Active Older Adults Have Slower Rates of Health Declines
HBNS STORY | December 1, 2011
Older adults who maintain high levels of social engagement or ramp up their social life as they age may be protected from declines in physical and cognitive health, according to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Doctor-Patient Relationship Influences Patient Engagement
HBNS STORY | November 29, 2011
Patients who feel their physicians treat them with respect and fairness, communicate well and engage with them outside of the office setting are more active in their own health care, according to new study in Health Services Research.

A Visa for the Dying: Travels to Another Country
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 21, 2011 | Janice Lynch Schuster
People who are dying have much living to do, whether it is measured out in days, weeks or months, and the demarcation lines between the living and the dying might as well be drawn in pencil. But the truth is that it's important to talk about dying and what it means to each of us.

Hard Cold Facts, or Hard Cold Doctors?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 10, 2011 | Andrew Robinson
I was first diagnosed while on vacation in 1994. A doctor entered the room and, without warning, said that I had 'a terminal and incurable form of leukemia' and 'less than five years to live.' Just like that. Turns out he was wrong'

1st Person: The ICU: A Caregiver's Perspective
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 20, 2011 | First Person
Erica Kosal's husband, Jim Young, has battled complications of chronic Lyme disease since his diagnosis in 2008. In 2010, Jim's hospitalization for respiratory problems took a turn for the worse, resulting in a 3-week ICU stay.

Off Pitch: Simple Conversations Go Astray
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 6, 2011 | Patient Perspectives
In this round-up, patient bloggers describe a mix of difficulties they experience in everyday conversations due to their illnesses.

Patient Engagement: Expert Connie Davis Talks about Challenges
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 19, 2011 | Connie Davis
This interview with Connie Davis is the second in a series of brief chats between CFAH president and founder, Jessie Gruman and experts - our CFAH William Ziff Fellows - who have devoted their careers to understanding and encouraging people's engagement in their health and health care.

Guest Blog: Recovery and Healing
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 29, 2011 | Katherine Ellington
Medical student Katherine Ellington grapples with reconciling her two roles as daughter and doctor-in-training as her mother recovers from a heart procedure.

The Emotions Illness Brings
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 5, 2011 | Patient Perspectives
The experiences and emotions brought on by having an illness or disability can be complex and sometimes unexpected. In this blog roundup, three patients share theirs.

Obese Girls More Than Twice as Likely to Be Addicted to Smoking
HBNS STORY | June 21, 2011
Obese teenage girls are more than twice as likely as other girls to develop high-level nicotine addiction as young adults, according to a new study.

The Conversation Continues: What to Say to Someone Who Is Ill
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 14, 2011 | CFAH Staff
In The New York Times This Life column, 'You Look Great and Other Lies', Bruce Feiler shares what he learned after his diagnosis and treatment for bone cancer. Bruce describes the gestures and words that are helpful and offers cautions about what not to say/do when someone you care about is ill.

Thoughts on Life, Death and Facebook
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 14, 2011 | Kate Lorig
For more than three weeks I have been hanging around the ICU. Lara, my friend and colleague, is poised between life and death, having rejected her five-year-old transplanted lungs. She awaits the gift of a chance for life from another donor. Lara wants so much to live. During her last conversation with me before being placed on a ventilator, she talked about her fear. Now breathing and most everything else is done for her. Drugs keep her oblivious to the suspense.

Culture and Stigma Affect Mental Health Care for Latinos
HBNS STORY | March 22, 2011
Latinos benefit from antidepressants like everybody else — only they do not use them nearly as often. The trick is getting past some cultural barriers.

Conversation Continues: Evidence of the Effects of Empathy
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 11, 2011 | CFAH Staff
A TIME article this week reveals new research that 'doctors who are more empathetic actually have healthier patients.' More on empathy and its role in health outcomes.....

Cancer Survivorship and Fear
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 28, 2011 | Andrew Schorr
I had breakfast this morning with my friend, Dave Garcia. Dave is a pit boss on the graveyard shift at the Belagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He is also a 52-year-old chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor. Today he was to see his oncologist and get his latest blood test results. Would his white blood count be in the normal range? As you can imagine, Dave was on pins and needles.

Support Groups Have Built-in Benefits for People with Depression
HBNS STORY | February 17, 2011
People who get together for support with depression may find their symptoms decrease, a new systematic review suggests.

Getting Through the Shock of a Devastating Diagnosis
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 25, 2011 | Jessie Gruman
It could happen tomorrow. The doctor says, "I'm sorry, I have bad news," and suddenly your life is turned upside-down, leaving you reeling from the shock of a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. Here is some advice on getting through that initial period.

Kids Who Are Sick Have Fewer Friends, Study Finds
HBNS STORY | December 7, 2010
A new study reveals that sick teens are more isolated than other kids, but they do not necessarily realize it and often think their friendships are stronger than they actually are.

Sharing the Burden
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 4, 2010 | Richard Sloan
Jessie has written about her perspective as the patient in an extremely stressful situation. I can add a different one: that of the husband of my seriously ill wife.

When Someone Close Has Cancer...
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 28, 2010 | Jessie Gruman
Update on Jessie's status and some words of wisdom from her article, 6 Ways to Help When Someone Has Cancer, originally published in an October 2008 issue of Parade magazine.

Relationships Can Lower Substance Use in Young People
HBNS STORY | June 1, 2010

Teens With Diabetes Might Need Help in Transition to Adulthood
HBNS STORY | April 6, 2010

Teen Girls Look to Peers to Gauge Weight Goals
HBNS STORY | March 15, 2010