Navigation Links
Web Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Date:8/16/2009

For support, advice or treatment, online interventions now await

SUNDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- People regularly turn to the Internet for games and gossip, news and entertainment, essential information and high weirdness.

And now, apparently, for their health as well.

A number of successful online medical interventions have been reported in recent months, helping folks quit smoking, lower their blood pressure and deal with any number of ailments.

New York City cardiologist Dr. Nieca Goldberg figures it's a great trend, as long as people are going to reliable and trusted sources for help.

"I think it is the wave of the future and, theoretically, it seems like a great idea," said Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, a clinical associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Women's Heart Program at New York University Langone Medical Center and author of Dr. Nieca Goldberg's Complete Guide to Women's Health. "There could be multiple interactions with patients that are brief and effective."

Online interventions have spanned a variety of medical issues. One program, for instance, used Internet and telephone interactions with heart attack survivors and cardiac patients to help improve their heart health. A study found that participants' blood pressure and cholesterol levels fell, more of them quit smoking and they were one-third less likely to die than cardiac patients who did not receive the attention.

Several programs have popped up to help smokers quit. An analysis of 22 clinical trials found that Internet- and computer-based smoking cessation programs gave smokers nearly twice the chance of successfully quitting than if they had tried to quit without help.

Those successes have led the University of Illinois at Chicago to spearhead a $2.9 million federal effort to encourage young adults to use proven online smoking cessation programs.

Alcoholics also can find online support. A Dutch study found that one in five excessive drinkers who used an online self-help Web site to help them with their problem reported that they had lowered their alcohol intake to levels less likely to cause health problems.

And chronic conditions such as psoriasis also have been shown to be helped by online interventions. One study in Boston found that half of the users of online psoriasis support groups believed that the quality of their lives had improved, and two in five reported improvement in the severity of their psoriasis.

In some instances, the Internet also provides "nudges" to help push people into healthy habits. One worksite e-mail health program developed by Kaiser Permanente, for instance, provided participants with weekly e-mails and mid-week reminders that set personalized health goals for them based on an earlier survey they had filled out. They were encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables, lower their intake of fats and sugars, and exercise more.

A study of the program found significant health improvements among people who received the e-mails. They were, in fact, eating better and exercising more.

Even those with advanced fitness goals can receive online assistance. The magazine Runner's World currently offers online training programs featuring personal advice from world-class runner Bart Yasso.

Dr. Robert Mallin, an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, said such online programs could appeal to people who don't like going to doctors, therapists or support groups for help with their problems.

"There's certainly an advantage to having face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball contact, but I think also people who would never step into a doctor's office or a room with a support group will explore those things online," said Mallin, a spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Online support groups, for example, allow people to gather information and communicate with others who have a similar problem while retaining their anonymity. "You don't have to participate," Mallin said. "People don't even have to know you're there."

However, both Goldberg and Mallin voiced concerns, too.

Goldberg wants to see large-scale studies of the effectiveness of these online programs before they are pursued to such an extent that they supplant regular modes of health care.

"When there's a concern about cost containment, we have to make sure the cost containment occurs within the context of quality care," she said. "This is a great idea, but I don't think we're 100 percent there yet."

Mallin worries about people getting bad information from Web sites.

"The biggest worry everyone has about health information on the Web is how accurate it is," he said. "I always ask my patients to run something by me they've read on the Internet or on one of those chat sites."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on ways to live healthily.



SOURCES: Nieca Goldberg, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine and medical director, Women's Heart Program, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; Robert Mallin, M.D., professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Teens who see more smoking in movies may have increased risk of becoming established smokers
2. Saturn Shows Its Commitment to Health and Fitness by Becoming Expo Title Sponsor for The Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon
3. Toxins in cigarette smoke prevent stem cells from becoming cartilage
4. Deep Sedation Becoming More Common for Dying Patients in Holland
5. Cells on path to becoming mature T-cells more flexible than commonly thought
6. Phyhealth Files Historical Financials With the Pink Sheets and Takes Next Step Toward Becoming Fully Reporting
7. Health Clubs Open Doors Free for 5th Annual Get Active America! Campaign, Taking a Stand on Prevention and Becoming Gateway to Healthy Living
8. Physical Fitness Godfather Jack LaLanne Turns to Brain Fitness, Becoming Ambassador for Dakims [m]Power System
9. Injuries to high school baseball players becoming more serious
10. Lap-Band "Tell-All" Warns of Patients Becoming Lap-Band "Orphans"
11. Credit Counseling Agency Helps Consumers Live Healthier While Becoming Financially Fit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Web Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s ... poses a problem. Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , ... medication in darkness or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The ... to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the ... – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Southern ... and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical associate professor Janice Frueh, ... cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health Conference. The SIU School ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery of sub-acute ... of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with the Shelton ... well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). The LTC-MAP ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is ... vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds ... by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. ... injectable drug administration, today shared the results of a ... improving the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The study ... in May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach , ... Health Organization (WHO), and recently published in the journal ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination ... is helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... flu shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions ... ... shot is by the end of October, according to the Centers for ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined ... Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), ... which included the unveiling of new signage at its ... well as at a few other company-owned facilities across ... to patients, some of whom will begin to see ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: