Posts tagged with "stress management"

Root Cause of Disease

Treating the Root Cause of Disease, Not Just the Symptoms

Our country is amid a population health transformation. Healthcare is moving from treating symptoms to finding and treating the root cause of disease. With healthcare costs on the rise and 51% of all mortality1 being directly attributable to lifestyle choices, people have more control over their health than they think. For example, 85% of all type 2 diabetes diagnoses (and the side effects associated with the disease) are preventable!1

The ultimate goal is to reduce healthcare utilization and costs by improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. U.S. Preventive Medicine (USPM) has a vision to Empower Communities to Add Life to Their Years and Years to Their Life…One Person at a Time!  We approach population health management as a population of one. It starts with one, it starts with you. It starts with each one of us.

There are three tiers of preventive medicine that when combined, can create sustainable healthy individuals and workplaces:

  • Primary: Wellness/Health Promotion
  • Secondary: Early Detection
  • Tertiary: Early Intervention Care Management

While many wellness companies address primary and secondary prevention, they fail to address disease acuity and risk management. This is where the highest costs can come from. Care management includes treating the chronic conditions with a personalized care plan, care coordination, and treatment plan adherence.

Even with an interactive web portal or a convenient wearable device, technology alone is not enough to drive sustainable behavioral change. The personal touch of coaching and care management combined with innovative technology drives a much higher level of engagement. USPM’s coaching philosophy recognizes the unique circumstances, environments, experiences, and social impacts that affect individuals. This recognition helps us view each individual as a complex, multidimensional person who can make decisions for him or herself.

The Preventive Plan® wellbeing program provides a customized roadmap for everyone to follow to better manage their health. The Plan outlines the risks, action items and educational information that are meaningful to an individual, and avoids short duration, high-intensity programs and cookie-cutter approaches that don’t last or deliver high levels of sustainable behavioral change.

A personalized plan can only be created once all the factors are taken into consideration for each individual. Someone who has a medical condition such as asthma, back and neck pain, coronary artery disease (CAD), or depression will have a tailored and unique set of action plans to address health risks.

This is why U.S. Preventive Medicine believes and supports the high-touch model of wellness. Our team of health coaches and care managers provide a supportive, non-judgmental learning experience and help identify barriers, assist with strategies and goal setting, monitor progress, and provide positive feedback to guide individuals toward a better quality of life by reducing risks and achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

In addition, USPM offers programs to increase member resiliency to everyday stress. We have partnered with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute to evolve traditional wellness into whole-person wellbeing. By integrating precision analytics to include stress and mental health conditions, we address the root-cause of illness.

In one health system over 6 months, our work on reducing and managing participant stress resulted in:

  • 35% decrease in perceived stress
  • 29% decrease in depersonalization
  • 27% decrease in emotional exhaustion

“Higher levels of resilience were found to have beneficial effects on worker’s perceptions of stress, psychological responses to stress, and job-related behaviors related to stress regardless of difficult environments. Faced with especially difficult work environments, workers with higher levels of resilience seem able to avoid absences and be more productive than workers with low resilience.”2

Evolve beyond wellness to comprehensive population health management. Address the root cause of risk and rising health care costs with evidence-based interventions, precision analytics, and a guaranteed quantifiable return on investment.


References

  1. Mokdad AH, et.al. Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000. JAMA. 2004; 291:1238-1245.
  2. “The Positive Effect of Resilience on Stress and Business Outcomes in Difficult Work Environments”, Andrew Shatte´, PhD, Adam Perlman, MD, MPH, et al. JOEM: Volume 59, Number 2, February 2017.
Journey to Better Stress Management

Journey to Better Stress Management

Stress! This one word may set your nerves on edge. Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Some people cope with stress more effectively than others. You have the power to prevent and effectively manage stress. By doing so, you can help lower your risk for serious conditions like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and depression.

What is stress?

Stress is the brain’s response to change. Stress is different for everyone. Many things can cause stress and may be recurring, short-term, long-term and for example, may include your commute to work, searching for a job, or moving to a new home. Some changes are more serious than others, and for example, can include serious illness, loss of a loved one, marriage, or divorce.

How does stress affect the body?

Not all stress is bad. “Stress can motivate people to prepare or perform, like when they need to take a test or interview for a new job. Stress can even be life-saving in some situations. In response to danger, your body prepares to face a threat or flee to safety. In these situations, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival.”1 

Different people may feel stress in different ways. Some people experience digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger or irritability. People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold.

When under stress you may feel:2

  • Worried
  • Angry
  • Irritable
  • Depressed
  • Unable to focus

Physical signs of stress include: 

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Tense muscles
  • Frequent or more serious colds

What are the benefits of lower stress? 

Over time, chronic stress can lead to health problems and lead to chronic disease. Managing stress can help you:

  • Sleep better
  • Control your weight
  • Get sick less often and feel better faster when you are sick
  • Have less neck and back pain
  • Be in a better mood
  • Get along better with family and friends

How can I cope with stress?

The effects of stress tend to build up over time. Taking practical steps to maintain your health and outlook can reduce or prevent these effects. The following are some tips that may help you to cope with stress.

  • Seek help from a qualified mental health care provider if you are overwhelmed, feel you cannot cope, have suicidal thoughts, or are using drugs or alcohol to cope.
  • Get proper health care for existing or new health problems.
  • Stay in touch with people who can provide emotional and other support. Ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations to reduce stress due to work burdens or family issues, such as caring for a loved one.
  • Recognize signs of your body’s response to stress, such as difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol and other substance use, being easily angered, feeling depressed, and having low energy.
  • Set priorities—decide what must get done and what can wait, and learn to say no to new tasks if they are putting you into overload.
  • Note what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
  • Avoid dwelling on problems. If you can’t do this on your own, seek help from a qualified mental health professional who can guide you.
  • Exercise regularly—just 30 minutes per day of gentle walking can help boost mood and reduce stress. Schedule regular times for healthy and relaxing activities.
  • Explore stress coping programs, which may incorporate meditation, yoga, tai chi, or other gentle exercises.

If you or someone you know is overwhelmed by stress, ask for help from a health professional. If you or someone close to you is in crisis, call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.


References:

1.National Institute of Mental Health:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml#pub3

2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/manage-stress#the-basics_2

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