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!
People living in the Western region of the United States tend to get high marks for health. In general, they are considered among the most active and health-conscious of all Americans. And, for the most part, Westerners agree with that sentiment. A Fragile Nation in Poor Health revealed 49% of Americans residing in the western states consider themselves to be healthy or very healthy, with an additional 25% striving to become healthier.
The Illusion of Health
The biggest risk facing people in this region of the country is “the illusion of health.” When people feel good they neglect wellness visits. In fact, they typically wait until they have obvious symptoms of an illness before they go to the doctor, which is precisely how a manageable disease becomes life-threatening.
However, when Westerners do go to the doctor, nearly nine in ten of them (87%) admit they don’t follow treatment plans they’ve been given by their doctor exactly as prescribed, A Fragile Nation in Poor Health revealed.
Opportunity for Improvement
People aren’t perfect — they don’t take their medication, they struggle to eat right and exercise. However, nearly two in five (38%) people living in the western states, 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, one in three (32%) 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, take a walk, or check blood sugar levels.
Westerners need some encouragement to go to the doctor. They also require some education about how their current lifestyles impact future health risks, so they can make changes today to keep serious illnesses at bay.