Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Article Summary] 1 In 3 Americans Uses Internet To Help With Diagnoses

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From the 15th January 2013 article at Medical News Today

A nationwide survey ***of US adults finds that 1 in 3 of Americans say they have used the internet to help them diagnose a medical condition, either for themselves or someone else. But, when asked who they turned to for help with a serious health issue, either online or offline, the majority said they turned to a doctor or other health professional…

…when these “online diagnosers” were asked who they turned to for information, care or support the last time they had a serious health problem, either online or offline:

  • 70% said they got it from a health professional,
  • 60% turned to family and friends, and
  • 24% said they got it from others with the same condition.

When the survey asked online diagnosers if the information they found online had led them to think they needed to see a doctor, 46% said yes, while 38% said they could take care of it themselves and 11% said it was a case of both or something in between.

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Read the entire article here

***The full Pew Internet report Health Online 2013 may be found here

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , | Leave a comment

[Booklet] Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents Can Do

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Practical ways parents and others can help children in the days, weeks, and months after traumatic events.
From the US National Institute on Mental Health.
Tips are practical and some are arranged by age groups.
An excerpt from the booklet 

How Parents Can Help:

After violence or a disaster parents and family should:

  • Identify and address their own feelings — this will allow them to help others
  • Explain to children what happened
  • Let children know:
    • You love them
    • The event was not their fault
    • You will take care of them, but only if you can; be honest
    • It’s okay for them to feel upset
  • DO:
    • Allow children to cry
    • Allow sadness
    • Let children talk about feelings
    • Let them write about feelings
    • Let them draw pictures
  • DON’T:
    • Expect children to be brave or tough
    • Make children discuss the event before they are ready
    • Get angry if children show strong emotions
    • Get upset if they begin:
      • Bed-wetting
      • Acting out
      • Thumb-sucking
  • If children have trouble sleeping:
    • Give them extra attention
    • Let them sleep with a light on
    • Let them sleep in your room (for a short time)
  • Try to keep normal routines (such routines may not be normal for some children):
    • Bed-time stories
    • Eating dinner together
    • Watching TV together
    • Reading books, exercising, playing games
  • If you can’t keep normal routines, make new ones together
  • Help children feel in control:
    • Let them choose meals, if possible
    • Let them pick out clothes, if possible
    • Let them make some decisions for themselves, when possible.

 

 

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Health Education (General Public), Psychology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Report] Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism

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Mississippi did as well as the best states (7 out of 10). My state, Ohio, had a 6 out of 10 as did Massachusetts.

 

An excerpt from the December 2012 article at HealthyAmericans.org

The Ready or Not? report provides a snapshot of our nation’s public health emergency preparedness. Its indicators are developed in consultation with leading public health experts based on data from publicly available sources, or information provided by public officials. Some key findings from the report include:

  • 29 states cut public health funding from fiscal years (FY) 2010-11 to 2011-12, with 23 of these states cutting funds for a second year in a row and 14 for three consecutive years. In addition, federal funds for state and local preparedness have decreased 38 percent from FY 2005-2012 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds, adjusted for inflation). States are reporting that gains in public health preparedness achieved in the past decade since September 11, 2001 are eroding, and since 2008, budget cuts have resulted in more than 45,700 job losses at state and local health departments;
  • Only two states have met the national goal of vaccinating 90 percent of young children, ages 19-36 months, against whooping cough (pertussis). This year Washington state has seen one of the most significant whooping cough outbreaks in recent history;
  • 35 states and Washington, D.C. do not currently have complete climate change adaptation plans, which include planning for health threats posed by extreme weather events;
  • 20 states do not mandate all licensed child care facilities to have a multi-hazard written evacuation plan; and
  • 13 state public health laboratories report they do not have sufficient capacity to work five, 12-hour days for six to eight weeks in response to an infectious disease outbreak, such as novel influenza A H1N1.

“Public health preparedness has improved leaps and bounds from where we were 10 years ago,” said Paul Kuehnert, MS RN Director of the Public Health Team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “But severe budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels threaten to undermine that progress. We must establish a baseline of ‘better safe than sorry’ preparedness that should not be crossed.”

The Ready or Not? report provides a series of recommendations that address many of the major gaps in emergency health preparedness, including:

  • Reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which expires at the end of this year;
  • Assure sufficient, dedicated funds for public health preparedness to ensure basic capabilities to respond to threats public health departments face every day and also to have the trained experts and systems in place to act quickly in the face of major, unexpected emergencies;
  • Provide ongoing support to communities so they better cope and recover from emergencies;
  • Modernize biosurveillance to a real-time, interoperable system to better detect and respond to problems;
  • Seriously address antibiotic resistance;
  • Improve research, development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures;
  • Increase readiness for extreme weather events; and
  • Update the nation’s food safety system.

The report was supported by a grant from RWJF and is available on TFAH’s website atwww.healthyamericans.org and RWJF’s website at www.rwjf.org.

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

[Partial Reblog] The Power of Patient-Expert Books

(And no, I am not advertising these books, or endorsing the contents of these books, only pointing to a trend!)

From the 4 January 2013 Huffington Post article by Riva Greenberg

Today, more and more books are being written by patients — well-educated, informed patients who manage their illness successfully and have experience, practical knowledge and insights to share with other patients.

As the new year incites a rush to become a “new, better and healthier you,” we often do so learning from our peers. When it comes to illness-warranted behavior changes, as like seeks like, it’s often easier to make changes learned from fellow patients with whom you share the experience of a disease. Like support groups and mentor programs, this is fertile soil for positive behavior change. So, I applaud the rise of patient-authors.

Patient-authors also narrate the experience of illness. That is why I hope health care professionals (HCPs) are also reading books written by patients. A book like No-Sugar Added Poetry, for example, can give HCPs immediate access to some of the emotional landscape of living with diabetes.

There is, in my mind, no easier or quicker way to tap into the experience of illness — what patients grapple with, how they feel, and the practical things that must be managed every day — than by reading a patient-written book.

When clinicians do, I believe they will become more mindful and compassionate and the relationship with their patients more trusting. And that can lead to better outcomes for both….

Read the entire article here

 

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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