This interview is the fifth 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.
Kate Lorig is concerned that 'There are so many health messages ' many of which are contradictory ' people just throw up their hands and do nothing.
Gruman: What is the biggest challenge you think people now face when thinking about their health and care?
Lorig: Uncertainty. Uncertainty. Uncertainty. Uncertainty about who is going to pay for care?' Uncertainty about whether I will have to find a new doctor.' Can I find a new one?' Will I have to pay more? ' (This scares me.) ' There is a real feeling of panic and anxiety out there.
Gruman: How about a challenge people face in making good use of their care?
Lorig: Health care is very difficult to access and then once you access it, it is frightening, confusing and not in the least supportive.' People are left to their own devices. ' Kaiser is good, but let's face it, only 8 million Americans are members.
Gruman: And what about the challenge people face in caring for themselves?
Lorig: Somehow we need to be more careful and mindful about the messages the media put out on health. There are so many health messages many of which are contradictory people just throw up their hands and do nothing.
Think about all those competing organizations and competing messages every not-for-profit, for profit, government and local health department is trying to distinguish itself, send out branded health messages'for example, Take 10,000 steps' or 'No more food nutrition pyramid! Now we have a plate!'
Just what are we supposed to do with all this?
More patient engagement inteviews with our Ziff fellows by Jessie Gruman