Doctors now understand that patients who are very confident can manage and control most of their health problems will do much, much better than those who are not confident.
Shouldn’t we help our patients increase their Health Confidence? For example, an older woman living in a fancy retirement community says that she is not confident she can manage or control most of her health problems. Another example is of a younger man in public housing also says he is not confident about managing his diabetes. Regardless of their respective ages, health problems or financial status, we know that these two persons are much more likely to experience adverse outcomes than comparable persons who are Health Confident.
How’s Your Health now emphasizes the importance of Health Confidence. Our practice will too. Please think about your Health Confidence and let us know if you are not very confident.
What is Health Confidence?
Health Confidence is the ability to understand, manage and control most health problems. Those with high confidence may still have many health concerns, but they generally feel they are getting good information, have good support and know how to access the healthcare system when needed in a meaningful way. Those with lower degrees of confidence tend to be ‘not so sure’, may have poor access to care or find that the quality of information they receive could be better.
What Health Confidence is NOT.
Health confidence is not about gimmicks or quick fixes to help you feel confident in giving a presentation, or techniques to make you appear more confident to the outside world. It is an ‘inside-out’ approach with clear results over decades of use by many thousands of people.
Why does it matter?
In short, because those with high confidence feel better, manage their conditions better and save money on their care.
Why do we care?
We are focused on person-centered, collaborative care and find if we ‘peel back the layers of the onion’ of patients health concerns, behavior modification, and confidence is frequently at the core. Increasing confidence and changing behaviors are tightly linked.
We are very interested in hearing from you regarding three measures:
- Do you feel you are getting the best care; exactly when and how needed.
- Do you feel you are getting the best information; understandable and useful.
- Do you feel you are very confident; I can manage and control most health problems.
Our goal is to move all these measures to as close to a 10 out of 10 as possible.
To explore your health confidence, click on the link below. This is a secure, free tool to help you on the road to the best health confidence possible. We encourage you to explore this site in detail and take advantage of the varied tools that will be tailored to your particular needs as you progress from page to page. Please share your findings with us, as well as important people in your life, and in particular, tell us how we can help.
For those interested in learning more about health confidence in clinical practice, check out these links or references.
Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH discusses the difference between patient-focused care, and person-focused care in this 2011 article.
John Wasson, MD, from Dartmouth Medical School, has been a leader in helping small practices improve quality. Read two short publications in which our practice was involved.
- Improvement of Health Confidence J Amb. Care Management vol 36, No 3, 235-240
- The Right Tool for the Right Job J Amb. Care Management vol 36, No 3, 241-244