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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.
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...
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.
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."
Timing of Epidural Is Up to the Mother
HBNS STORY | October 9, 2014
When a woman is in labor, the appropriate time to give an epidural during childbirth is when she asks for it, suggests a new review in The Cochrane Library.
Have You SEEN Your Options? Patients Should Make Safe, Effective, Economical, Necessary Choices
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 2, 2014 | Wendy Lynch
My friend Jane is quite a perfectionist, at least usually. I was almost certain that if she was having work done on her kitchen, she would be getting competitive bids, asking for references and reviewing vendors. But not for her shoulder surgery. Perhaps we need a concise mantra for what it means to be a health care consumer...
Expanding Medicaid Increases Rural Health Care Access and Use
HBNS STORY | October 2, 2014
A new study in Health Services Research reveals that expanding Medicaid to cover more adults boosts health care access and use in rural populations.
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).
Pressure from Providers Leads Some Women to Have C-Sections, Inductions
HBNS STORY | September 23, 2014
Pregnant women who felt pressured to have a labor induction or cesarean section by their obstetrical care providers were significantly more likely to have these procedures, even if there was no medical need for them, suggests a new study in Health Services Research.
Another Strategy in the Health Care Reimbursement Game
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 17, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
American health care has become a gigantic game board with players of all sorts strategizing to win. Winning, of course, means getting more money from payers...
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.
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...
Why I Fired My Doctor and What You Should Look for in Yours
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 25, 2014 | Donna Cryer
My new doctor and I clashed in every way. The short story is that I found another doctor who was a better fit for my "patient style." So what can you learn from my experience? First off, here are two questions you should ask yourself...
Facing a Serious Diagnosis? 'AfterShock' Now an App
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 31, 2014 | CFAH Staff
Receiving bad health news can spark great upheaval. It is a time when nothing is certain and the future looks dark. The new, free app 'AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis' offers a basic roadmap through the first few days and weeks, providing concise information and trusted resources to help you regain a bit of control during this turbulent time...
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?...
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.
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.
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.
Not So Easy to Stop Care When the Patient Is a Loved One
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 16, 2014 | Margaret Polaneczky
To those of us who have had a loved one succumb to cancer, who had to negotiate the frightening choice between the rock and the hard place, always holding out hope for another round of chemo...we know that reining in health care costs will mean more than just raising co-pays and lowering drug costs and funding more effective interventions. It will also mean quashing hope. And learning to tell ourselves the truth...
Shared Decision Making Missing in Cancer Screening Discussions
HBNS STORY | June 12, 2014
A national survey of patients reveals that physicians don’t always fully discuss the risks and benefits of cancer screening, reports a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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?
Life-Changing Events Can Lead to Less Physical Activity
HBNS STORY | June 5, 2014
Adults tend to engage in less leisure-time physical activity after changes in both lifestyle and physical status, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Cancer Screening: Understanding 'Relative Risk'
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 3, 2014 | Kenny Lin
I have offered before a few reasons for eligible patients to consider not getting screened for lung cancer. I concede, however, that reasonable people might conclude that the potential harms are outweighed by the benefit of reducing one's risk of dying by one-fifth. The next critical question that needs to be asked is: one-fifth of what?
Vitamin D with Calcium May Prevent Bone Fractures for High-Risk Seniors
HBNS STORY | May 29, 2014
For seniors over the age of 65, taking a daily supplement of vitamin D with calcium—but not vitamin D alone—can offer some protection against the risk of common bone fractures, according to an updated review from The Cochrane Library.
Caring for the Whole Patient
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 27, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas
When I was discharged from the intensive care unit in cardiology, not one of the nurses, residents or cardiologists asked if I'd be able to afford the fistful of expensive new cardiac meds I'd been prescribed. Not one asked if there was anybody at home to help take care of me there, or if there was anybody at home who needed me to take care of them. Not one asked if I'd be returning to a high-stress job, or even if I had enough banked sick time or vacation days to take sufficient time off. Such real-life issues are simply not the concern of most of our health care providers...
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.
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.
A Doctor's Strategies Helped Mom Pay for Meds
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 19, 2014 | Narine Wandrey
Bewildered, panicked and disheartened, I watched my mother's eyes dart back and forth as she read the pharmacy's prescription cash price list, knowing she could not possibly afford her monthly medicines. We drove home, not saying a word, but I knew she was deeply distraught. When we arrived, she began cutting each tiny elliptical or rounded tablet into halves and quarters...
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.
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...
When an Advocate Becomes a Patient
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 28, 2014 | Bonnie Friedman
A recent clumsy mishap at the gym landed me in the emergency department. Lying in the hall, feeling hapless and helpless, I was in no position to make any important health decisions, had they been needed, or to remember anything important that might have been said. Later, I understood on a deeply personal level the need for a patient advocate...
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...
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...
'Everybody Has Plans 'Til They Get Punched in the Mouth'
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 1, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas
In boxing terms, this is completely literal, sound advice. As a figurative metaphor for illness, it's not bad, either. Because no matter how competent, how smart, how resourceful we may think we are before a catastrophic health crisis strikes, many of us may suddenly feel incompetent, ignorant and helpless when thrust inexplicably into the stress of such formidable reality...
Is a Daily Dose of Many Pills in Your Future?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 17, 2014 | Andrew Schorr
I recently had breakfast with an aging cousin, Walter, who has become infirm in his senior years. I knew he had several doctors and took medicine. It wasn't until breakfast time, however, that I realized how many medicines Walter took – and I was bowled over...
Many New Parents Unaware of Safety Guidelines
HBNS STORY | April 8, 2014
A new parent’s health literacy can affect their ability to follow recommendations to protect infants from injury, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Better Benefits Help Medicaid Recipients Quit Smoking
HBNS STORY | March 6, 2014
Expanded smoking cessation benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should give more people the opportunity to quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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...
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.
Confessions of a Non-Compliant Patient
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 24, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas
Most days, I have learned to function pretty well. But take a few unexpected health challenges, no matter how minor they may seem to others, arriving at the same time and piled onto an already-full plate and you have an explosion of overwhelm that looms larger than the average healthy person could even imagine. I've become a non-compliant patient...
Getting Help for Depression
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 20, 2014 | Be a Prepared Patient
Depression affects nearly one in ten Americans yet many people often go untreated. In fact, a recent study found that 70 percent of people surveyed with symptoms of depression received no treatment of any kind. Here's advice on how to get help...
Is Your Doctor Paying Attention?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 13, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas
The $800 bottle of meds in my bathroom cabinet is a powerfully expensive reminder of my (former) family physician's lapse in attention – and my own lapse in catching her error. She'd somehow accidentally doubled both the dosage and the number of times per day to take these meds. How is this even possible? Somebody is not paying attention...
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.
Men, Elderly, Minorities Not Getting Treated for Depression
HBNS STORY | February 6, 2014
Depression rates are increasing in the U.S. and under-treatment is widespread, especially among certain groups including men, the poor, the elderly and ethnic minorities, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Pharmacy Staff Frequently Misinform Teens Seeking Emergency Contraception
HBNS STORY | December 19, 2013
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that pharmacy staff frequently give teens misleading or incorrect information about emergency contraception that may prevent them from getting the medication.
Significant Economic Losses When Young Women Die From Breast Cancer
HBNS STORY | December 12, 2013
In 2008, breast cancer deaths in women under age 50 cost the economy $5.49 billion in productivity and resulted in an estimated 7.98 million years of potential life lost, finds a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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.
A Better Health System for Frail and Disabled Elders
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 9, 2013 | Ken Covinsky
Let's stop telling the public that exercising and eating blueberries are guarantees for avoiding frailty and disability. Let's start talking about how to maintain our quality of life as we age and inevitably encounter health problems.
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...
Seven Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier About Cancer Survivorship
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 4, 2013 | Jessie Gruman
It is challenging, in the years following a cancer diagnosis, to assemble health care that protects us from the lingering effects of the disease and its treatment and that alerts us to a recurrence or new cancer. I hope these reflections will help those who've been diagnosed with cancer live as long and as well as they can...
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.
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.
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...
Staying Well at Work
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
More and more employers are offering workplace wellness programs-but do they work?
The Hard-Hitting Truth About Sports Concussions
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 11, 2013 | Conversation Continues
Final scores, rankings and rivalries aren't the only fall football traditions getting news coverage this season. Rates, effects and what to do about concussions are in the spotlight too.
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.
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.
Latest Health Behavior News
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 11, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service
In this week's health news: Patient-doctor relationship affects diabetes care | Women in Appalachia at risk for late stage breast cancer | People with asthma need not fear exercise | Treating depression helps some smokers quit...
Five Years Later: Zigzagging Toward Acceptance
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 8, 2013 | Kathi Kolb
"Your biopsy is positive." None of us ever forgets when we first heard some version of that phrase. I heard it five years ago today...
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.
How Much Will Your Health Care Cost?
PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care
It can be hard to figure out how much your health care will cost ahead of time. Here are some tips for preparing for the cost of your procedures.
Binge Eating More Likely to Lead to Health Risks in Men
HBNS STORY | September 17, 2013
Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women however, obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.
More Education, Not Income, Fights Obesity
HBNS STORY | September 12, 2013
Higher education, rather than income, protects women in disadvantaged neighborhoods from obesity, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion.
Women in Appalachia Have Higher Rates of Late Stage Breast Cancer
HBNS STORY | September 26, 2013
Older women living in the most deprived areas of the U.S. Appalachia had higher rates of late stage breast cancer than women in more affluent areas, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Latest Health Behavior News
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 30, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service
This week in health news: For teens, fighting is bad for the brain | Skeptical elderly turn to home remedies | Bedwetting treatments offer help | Green light for eating and drinking during labor
Restricting Food and Fluids During Labor is Unwarranted
HBNS STORY | August 22, 2013
Despite the longstanding, widespread practice of restricting women’s food and fluid intake during labor, a large-scale analysis in The Cochrane Library finds it unwarranted and supports women eating and drinking as they please.
I Wish I Had Known Earlier...If Your Oncology Team Doesn’t Mention the Topic of Fertility, Then You Should Bring It Up Yourself
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 20, 2013 | Marie Ennis OConnor
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. When I brought up the topic of fertility with my oncologist, I was presented with a stark choice between life-saving treatment or a chance at becoming a mother.
Rural Seniors Prefer Self-Care Over Doctors
HBNS STORY | August 15, 2013
A survey of older rural adults found a high degree of medical skepticism, the belief that one knows and can control their own health better than a medical professional can, reports a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
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
The Tightrope of Chronic Illness
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 8, 2013 | Danea Horn
In the most recent newsletter, I talked about wanting to trade bodies with someone...just for one day. This way they could tell you just how freaked you should be about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Unemployment Linked to Reduced Use of Preventive Health Care
HBNS STORY | July 23, 2013
Fluctuations in the unemployment rate affect people’s health care choices, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Breast Cancer Treatments Delayed for Black and Rural Women
HBNS STORY | May 21, 2013
Black women with breast cancer are more likely than Hispanic or white women to experience delays in the initiation of chemotherapy or radiation after surgery, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Time’s “How to Cure Cancer” Cover – Worst of the Year?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 20, 2013 | Gary Schwitzer
That’s what journalist Seth Mnookin writes on Slate, stating, further, that it is “wrong, grandiose, and cruel.” He writes, “I haven’t found a single cancer researcher who believes this means we’re on the verge of curing cancer.”
Birthing Centers Provide Equal or Better Deliveries
HBNS STORY | April 18, 2013
Low-income women who chose to deliver their baby at a birthing center under the care of a certified nurse-midwife had the same or better birthing experience as women under traditional care with a hospital-based obstetrician, according to a new study in Health Services Research.
Elderly Women in Rural Areas Less Likely to Recover from Depression
HBNS STORY | March 19, 2013
Being female and living in a rural area are among several factors that predicted whether an elderly person with depression recovered over the course of a year, finds a recent study in Depression Research and Treatment.
Drugs to Treat Fibromyalgia Just as Likely to Harm as Help
HBNS STORY | January 31, 2013
Among fibromyalgia patients taking either of two commonly prescribed drugs to reduce pain, 22 percent report substantial improvement while 21 percent had to quit the regimen due to unpleasant side effects, according to a new review in The Cochrane Library.
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.
Only Half of Young Women Complete Three-Part HPV Vaccine
HBNS STORY | December 11, 2012
Of young women who start the three-part series of the highly effective human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, only half get all the necessary doses, according to new research in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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.
Women Often Lose Their Health Insurance When Divorced
HBNS STORY | November 13, 2012
Each year, almost 115,000 women in the U.S. will lose their health insurance in the months following a divorce, finds a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
When You Really Learn about Hospital Infections
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 13, 2012 | Trudy Lieberman
One of the greatest risks I faced from surgery to repair a macular hole in my eye was from a hospital acquired infection. But when I tried to find data on the performance of various hospitals in New York City, there were no ratings for Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat where I would have my surgery.
Comparative Effectiveness Research: Judy Norsigian of Our Bodies Ourselves
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 19, 2012 | Judy Norsigian
Judy Norsigian is one of the founders of Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), a nonprofit public interest organization practicing women's health education, advocacy and consulting, and has served as its executive director since 2001. This is the second in a series of interviews with patient and consumer group leaders about their experiences with and attitudes toward comparative effectiveness research.
Keeping Mom and Baby Together After Delivery Beneficial
HBNS STORY | September 13, 2012
“Rooming in,” keeping mother and her newborn in the same room 24/7 to encourage breastfeeding, does support the practice, at least in the short term, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library.
Diagnostic Confidence Key for Prompt Treatment for Women with Heart Symptoms
HBNS STORY | August 29, 2012
Doctors who believe that women have “atypical” coronary heart disease symptoms are less certain when diagnosing heart disease in women. As a result, women are less likely than men to receive treatments for an urgent cardiac event, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
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.
Even With Insurance, Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment Persist
HBNS STORY | July 26, 2012
A new study in Ethnicity & Disease finds that racial disparities in breast cancer treatment persist even when Black and White patients have the same Medicaid health insurance and similar economic status.
Women and Minorities Face Barriers to Clinical Trials
HBNS STORY | June 1, 2012
Physicians have great influence over whether minorities and women participate in cancer clinical trials, according to a new literature review.
Cervical Stitch Has Risks, Decreases Pre-term Births for Few Women
HBNS STORY | April 18, 2012
A new evidence review from The Cochrane Library finds that cerclage, a procedure intended to provide support to the cervix during pregnancy, provides no clinically significant difference in the number of fetal deaths or newborn complications compared to women who don’t receive the treatment.
Over-the-Counter Test for Vaginal Infection Just as Good as the Doctor’s
HBNS STORY | April 17, 2012
For women with symptoms of the most common vaginal infection, a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that an over-the-counter diagnostic test may be just as accurate as having a test performed by a clinician.
Women Veterans Report Poorer Health Despite Access to Health Services, Insurance
HBNS STORY | April 10, 2012
As more and more soldiers return from recent conflicts overseas, new research reveals that female veterans experience poorer health than other women.
Doctors in U.S. Overuse Pap Smears
HBNS STORY | March 20, 2012
A new study finds U.S. physicians are performing Pap smears far more often than needed to prevent cervical cancer.
Popular Fetal Monitoring Method Leads To More C-Sections
HBNS STORY | February 15, 2012
A new research review suggests that the use of one popular method of fetal monitoring does not improve maternal and fetal outcomes and makes women more likely to have cesarean sections.
How Much Does it Cost to Have a Baby?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 24, 2012 | Kenny Lin
My wife and I are expecting our third child, and our new insurance plan requires us to pay 20% coinsurance for all non-preventive care. Given the rapid rate of health care inflation, we thought it prudent to find out how much it would cost this time around. So, we asked for an estimate of the charges. It seemed like a reasonable enough request'
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.
Breast Cancer Patients More Satisfied When Specialists Share Care Management
HBNS STORY | December 15, 2011
Patients with breast cancer report greater satisfaction when their cancer doctor co-manages care with other specialists, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Guest Blog: On Alcohol and Breast Cancer, Guilt, Correlations, Fun, Moderation, Doctors' Habits, Advice and Herbal Tea
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 11, 2011 | Elaine Schattner
Few breast cancer news items irk some women I know more than those linking alcohol consumption to the disease.
Pink Ribbons, Mixed Emotions
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 18, 2011 | Patient Perspectives
October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and recently, breast cancer patients and survivors alike have shared their (sometimes disparate) thoughts and feelings about these four weeks.
Sidewalks, Crime Affect Women’s Physical Activity Throughout U.S.
HBNS STORY | October 11, 2011
Getting women to meet the U.S. federal government’s recommended level of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity remains a huge challenge. A large new study shows that where women live affects just how likely they are to exercise.
Guest Blog: Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer Clamor for a Different Awareness Level
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 4, 2011 | Gary Schwitzer
October is breast cancer awareness month. But October 13th is National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) argue that "awareness" should not be the only message ' or even the main message'of the month. Here are 13 facts they think you should know...
Routine Follow-up Mammography Benefits Breast Cancer Survivors
HBNS STORY | September 28, 2011
After breast cancer surgery, a follow-up regimen that includes regular mammograms offers a survival benefit over a follow-up regimen that does not include mammograms, according to a new systematic review.
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.
NBC Urges Women >40 to Ask About CRP Test
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 19, 2011 | Gary Schwitzer
After seeing the NBC Nightly News last night, a physician urged me to write about what he saw: a story about a "simple blood test that could save women's lives." Readers - and maybe especially TV viewers - beware whenever you hear a story about "a simple blood test."
1st Person: I Think So Too
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 19, 2011 | First Person
Breast cancer survivor, Lisa Bonchek Adams, blogs about life-changing events including a cancer diagnosis, the sudden death of a family member, and having a child with medical challenges. She combines medical, psychological, and sociological viewpoints to these and other topics. You can read this post and follow her at LisaBAdams.com.
Patient Advocates: Flies In The Ointment Of Evidence-Based Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 18, 2011 | Jessie Gruman
The women recounted how their lives had been saved as they pleaded for the Food and Drug Administration not to withdraw approval for Avastin as a treatment for advanced breast cancer. They did so even without evidence that it provides benefit and with evidence that it confers risks.
Drug Speeds Up Slow Labor but Doesn’t Prevent C-Sections
HBNS STORY | July 14, 2011
A new review says that oxytocin, a medication often used to quicken slow-paced labor in its early stages, doesn’t decrease a woman’s risk of having a complicated birth involving forceps or a cesarean section.
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.
Bisexual, Lesbian Women Less Likely to Get Pap Tests
HBNS STORY | June 7, 2011
A new study finds that young bisexual and lesbian women are less likely to get Pap tests than straight women, while young bisexual women face a higher risk of being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases.
Safer-Sex Ed for Women Increases Condom Use, Might Reduce Partners
HBNS STORY | April 12, 2011
Teaching young women how to prevent sexually transmitted infections increases condom use and might reduce their number of sexual partners, but do programs reduce disease rates?
Rising Rates of Tubal Pregnancies Cause Concern
HBNS STORY | April 5, 2011
Ectopic – or tubal – pregnancies can be dangerous for mothers, leading to rupture of the fallopian tube and possible hemorrhage, and they appear to be on the rise, according to a new study.
Black and Hispanic Women With Breast Cancer Face Treatment Delays
HBNS STORY | February 1, 2011
At a time when access to prompt treatment might affect survival, a large new study finds that African-American and Hispanic women newly diagnosed with breast cancer often face delays in care of more than a month.
Treating Women’s Depression Might Help Them Lose Weight
HBNS STORY | December 10, 2010
For women coping with obesity and depression, new research finds that improving your mood might be the link to losing weight.
Childhood Sexual, Physical Abuse Linked to Drinking Problems in Women
HBNS STORY | November 16, 2010
Women who suffered sexual or physical abuse as children are more likely to abuse alcohol than are others, according to a new study of 3,680 women.
Instruments Can Assist Birth, But With Risks to Mother, Child
HBNS STORY | November 9, 2010
Forceps might be a better instrument than a vacuum cup for assisting a successful birth, but new mothers might experience more trauma and complications after a forceps delivery, according to a new review of studies.
Childhood, Teenage Abuse Raises Diabetes Risk in Women
HBNS STORY | November 9, 2010
A new study of nearly 70,000 women found a clear association between abuse in childhood and adolescence and the risk of type 2 diabetes in adult women.
Non-hormone Treatments Can Relieve Hot Flashes in Women With Breast Cancer
HBNS STORY | September 7, 2010
Hormonal Contraceptives Have Mixed Success Among Overweight Women
HBNS STORY | July 8, 2010
Sedentary Behavior Puts White Women at Greatest Risk for Obesity
HBNS STORY | June 29, 2010
WIC Program Has Moderate Effect on Birth Outcomes
HBNS STORY | April 28, 2010
A new study that looked at the effect of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to determine the effect on various birth outcomes found that the overall effects were only moderate.
Study: HPV May Not Act Like Other STDs
HBNS STORY | March 23, 2010
Breast Cancer Rates Decline Most for Affluent White Women
HBNS STORY | February 10, 2010
Alcohol Increases Women’s Risk of Intimate Partner Violence
HBNS STORY | January 27, 2010
Women With Partner, Baby Gain More Weight Than Single Women
HBNS STORY | January 5, 2010