When Patients Do Nothing: Illness and Inertia

The Huffington Post:

One of the most daunting public health challenges is getting people to take care of themselves in the most basic ways. It’s not that people with cardiac risk don’t know about exercise and its heart benefits. Or that people with diabetes are unaware of insulin treatment. Or that the elderly don’t know about the flu and flu shots. It’s that they don’t take the first steps in helping themselves get and stay healthy, like seeing a physician and having a checkup and filling a prescription. In this sense, the biggest health risk for many is doing nothing, and the cost of this medical non-compliance could be higher than $100 billion a year in the U.S. alone.

And it apparently was enough. As reported in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, those who went through this simple intervention were much more likely, later on in the real trials, to opt out of the unpleasant status quo. They had, in effect, become more rational in their decision making.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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