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!
Midwesterners’ waistlines are expanding, in part because they eat a lot of bread and pastries. In fact, this region of the county is known as the nation’s “breadbasket,” with favorites that include wheat and honey buns, kolaches, homemade pie, and traditional breads of all kinds. The Midwestern diet is also filled with comfort foods such as casseroles, steaks, hamburgers, fried chicken, and pot roast.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise the Midwest has extremely high rates of obesity, and the rates continue to rise. This is a dangerous trend because obesity is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic conditions.
Honesty and Hard Work
However, known for being open, honest and straightforward, Midwesterners are realists when it comes to their health. A Fragile Nation in Poor Health revealed 62% of Americans in the Midwest don’t feel their overall personal health is in good shape, with one-quarter (25%) reporting they are struggling to be healthy.
It may not be due to lack of trying, however. In fact, Midwesterners are known for working hard and, if at first they don’t succeed, they “try and try again.” Perhaps one of the reasons they struggle to become healthy is because they are working hard doing all of the wrong things.
According to A Fragile Nation in Poor Health, four in five Americans residing in the Midwest (82%) admit they don’t follow treatment plans they’ve been given by their doctor exactly as prescribed.
Need for Feedback and Encouragement
Considering this, Midwestern doctors need to be specific in defining the actions their patients must take to become healthier. And, they must provide their patients with support between doctor visits to help them overcome obstacles. Midwesterners also require ongoing feedback from their physicians to better understand how their day-to-day actions are impacting their ability to improve their health.
Midwesterners agree. A Fragile Nation in Poor Health revealed more than one-third (39%) of people living in the Midwest, 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. And, more than one in three (38%) said they 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 check blood sugar levels.
Midwesterners are motivated by a sense of accomplishment and progress. Therefore, it’s important for Midwestern doctors take an active role in supporting patients between office visits with information and reminders that are specific to each patient’s treatment plan, along with feedback that enables them to achieve better health.