NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “A Fragile Nation in Poor Health”, which reveals the majority of Americans fail to follow their doctors’ advice, and uncovers a significant gap in our nation’s healthcare system – lack of patient care between doctor visits. Download it HERE!
Stress and obesity are the two biggest health problems plaguing Generation Y, largely because they were born into a world that makes it easy to become overweight and obese. They’ve been sitting in front of computers and playing video games since they were children. They’ve grown up on a steady diet of sugary drinks, processed and fast foods. In addition, their childhood, filled with planned activities, has extended into their adult lives, and they are very busy and over taxed. Moreover, longer working hours and fewer opportunities for physical activity in the workplace feed the cycle of stress and poor health habits.
A Fragile Nation in Poor Health revealed 4 out of 10 (42%) Gen Y Americans do not feel their overall personal health is in good shape. Part of the problem is they tend to wait until a health issue becomes severe, rather than see their primary care physician when symptoms first appear.
Taking a Hands-On Approach
When it comes to following their doctor’s advice, more than four in five (83%) Gen Y Americans admit they don’t follow treatment plans exactly as prescribed. Often after receiving a diagnosis, they turn to the Internet to find more information on the condition. As a result, they are knowledgeable and want to take a very strong role in shaping their course of treatment. Gen Y takes a very hands-on approach to health care and if doctors don’t work with these patients to design customized treatment plans, Gen Y Americans may disregard treatment advice.
Generation Y has high expectations of doctors and they require a cooperative approach throughout their treatment in order to lead a healthy adult life. In fact, the study shows that nearly half (47%) Gen Y Americans, who feel they could better follow their prescribed plans, would be likely to do so if they received encouragement from their doctors between visits to stay on course.
Looking for the “Quick Cure”
Gen Y patients, who have grown up in a society of instant information, want quick solutions to their problems. They expect fast treatment or a “quick cure” for their medical problems, which leads to frustration when they have chronic ailments like stress and weight problems.
And, close to one in two (45%) of Gen Y Americans would follow instructions better if they received reminders from their doctors via email, voicemail or text telling them to do something specific, like take medication or exercise.
For Gen Y, face-to-face contact is just one option for engaging with doctors. This generation of patients is far more comfortable with the idea of “virtual” patient interactions involving calls, e-mails, text messages and social media. Additionally, they will require physicians to accommodate their expectations of easy access, while providing them with personalized care between doctor appointments.