Patient Engagement
Clip
The Saturation of Health Information (02:56)

The mass media bombards consumers with health advice — but that doesn’t necessarily result in behavior change.

“Probably everybody now knows that they should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day,” says Wendy Wood. “That was part of a CDC initiative [and] since that program was started, people’s knowledge has improved. Their consumption of fruit and vegetables, however, has gone down.”

We’re good at changing people’s knowledge and behavior, notes Wood, but we’re not so good at changing repeated behaviors. “It’s time to switch our focus from informing people to behavior change,” she says. “It’s great to know how many servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat, but I don’t think that’s going to do it for your health.”

Nevertheless, the dissemination of health information to an increasingly informed average consumer is a good thing, adds David Kirchhoff. “It is great to give people the tools if they choose to empower themselves,” he says.

As for consumers getting swamped with too much medical information, potentially resulting in confusion, Kirchhoff isn’t sure that’s the issue. “It depends if you’re talking about health information for people who are dealing with illness, or if you’re talking about health information on things like diet, nutrition, and everything else,” he explains. “I don’t know that I see that as a problem, I just don’t believe that it is necessarily, by itself, even sort of a fix.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016.

More From Patient Engagement
Karen DeSalvo - public health population health social determinants of health expert social services infrastructure

Moving from a Sickness Model of Health Care to One of Well-Being — Part 2

A public health expert discusses the scientific, technological, and financial foundations we need to modernize the social services infrastructure and address social determinants of health.

PROs Associated with Better Top-Box Satisfaction Scores at UPMC

Better Physician Ratings from Discussing PROs with Patients

A UPMC study demonstrates the value of PROs, but finds that physicians need to discuss that information with patients during visits.

Karen DeSalvo - public health population health social determinants of health expert social services infrastructure

Moving from a Sickness Model of Health Care to One of Well-Being — Part 1

The expense of the U.S. health care system is so misaligned from what we need as a country — a healthier population. A public health expert discusses how we can move toward a model that addresses social determinants of health and promotes well-being while still growing our economy.

Different Means of Initiating and Sustaining Behavior Change

Survey Snapshot: Social Support, Whether In-Person or Virtual, Is the Key to Sustained Behavior Change

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members seek ways to create relationships with patients — but the hurdles are high.

Different Means of Initiating and Sustaining Behavior Change

Patient Engagement Survey: What Creates Behavior Change May Not Sustain It

An NEJM Catalyst Insights Council survey finds that human interaction and social support are vital for patient behavior change and employee wellness programs.

How the EpxSubstanceUse Substance Use Disorder Mobile Health Texting Program Works - Preferred Family Healthcare Epharmix Technology Assisted Care Coordination Project Opioid Abuse

Messaging System Helps Caregivers Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Patients with Substance Use Disorder

One behavioral health provider pilots cost-effective outreach to patients with SUD that checks up on their recovery, triages needs, and facilitates communication.

Gary Kaplan Head Shot

Improving Patient Involvement in Care

The CEO of Virginia Mason on facilitating and enhancing patient participation in care.

Chou01_pullquote_Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Patient-Provider Communication

Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Patient Engagement

Clinicians must acknowledge that there is a dramatic difference between learning a concept about patient-provider communication and learning the actual skills for effective execution.

Nash01_pullquote - A Requiem for Value-Based Care Population Health.

A Requiem for Population Health?

Despite some fits and starts for value-based care, there is abundant evidence that the concept will continue to survive and thrive.

Steps for Deploying Nudge Unit in Health Care

Nudge Units to Improve the Delivery of Health Care

Key information and important choices are constantly being presented in health care. Yet often the frames or default options used are selected without attention to strategic goals.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Patient Incentives

60 Articles

Survey Snapshot: Social Support, Whether In-Person…

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members seek ways to create relationships with patients — but the…

Moving from a Sickness Model of…

A public health expert discusses the scientific, technological, and financial foundations we need to modernize…

Patient-Centered Care

211 Articles

Better Physician Ratings from Discussing PROs…

A UPMC study demonstrates the value of PROs, but finds that physicians need to discuss…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now