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Study finds hearing loss a significant drag on seniors’ quality of life

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Some of the most commonly cited health problems affecting the elderly are hypertension, stroke and osteoporosis, but a new study highlights what researchers call an even bigger problem.

Americans ages 65 years and older said that hearing impairment affects their quality of life physically and mentally more than high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, sciatica and cancer, according to the study, released Thursday by AARP Services and UnitedHealthcare.

The study, published in the journal Quality of Life Research, used data from the "Health Update Survey" and the "Veterans RAND 12-item health status" survey, dividing respondents into groups that experienced hearing impairment and those that didn’t and examining the extent to which hearing loss affected respondents physical component score, or PCS, and mental component score, or MCS. A three-point change in one of the scores is considered clinically meaningful, but the study found that hearing loss lowered the PCS by 3.25 points and MCS by 3.22 points.

"These findings indicate that hearing impairment can affect mental and physical quality of life to a greater extent than hypertension, osteoporosis or even stroke," UnitedHealth Group EVP business initiatives and clinical affairs Richard Migliori said. "Given the significant burden hearing loss has on quality of life, we believe this study highlights an opportunity for physicians to develop treatment programs that enhance not only older adults’ hearing, but also their mental and emotional health."


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Freedom of choice

BY Rob Eder

Restricted pharmacy networks are becoming more prevalent, and mandatory mail has long been a threat, but the good news among Patient Views panelists is that more than 8-out-of-10 say their insurance allows them to go to the pharmacy of their choice, according to an exclusive survey of nearly 800 patients conducted by AccentHealth and DSN in late July and early August.

Stay tuned this week, as Patient Views further explores pharmacy satisfaction and what it would take to get them to break allegiances and switch pharmacies.

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that will be appear in every edition of DSN magazine and the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected].

Does your insurance allow you to go to the pharmacy of your choice?

Source: AccentHealth. To view the methodology, click here.

 

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McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions a finalist in two separate healthcare marketing award races

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions has been named a finalist in both the 2012 Medical Marketing and Media Awards and the PM360 Trailblazer Awards, McKesson announced Friday.

McKesson was named a finalist by MM&M in the "Best Use of Direct Marketing to Consumers" category for its "Lap-Band Behavioral Call" campaign on behalf of Ogilvy Healthworld and Allergan. The MM&M Awards annually recognize creativity and marketing effectiveness in health care.

In addition, the "Lap-Band Behavioral Call" campaign also was selected by PM360 for the Best Direct Marketing to Patient Campaign Award. PM360 also selected McKesson’s LEO Quality Care Program for the Best Persistence Campaign Award. The PM360 Trailblazer Awards are given to companies, marketers and brand managers representing top talent and brands. Selected by the PM360 editorial board from more than 800 award applications, finalists represent the most forward-thinking leadership of their fields.

The "Lap-Band Behavioral Call" campaign focused on consumers who had requested initial information about the weight-loss procedure, but had not responded to invitations to attend an informational seminar. Taking the leads generated through DTC efforts, McKesson developed an outreach solution designed to maximize conversion opportunities through live behavioral calls to help guide the consumer through the decision process. 

Campaign strategies included assigning a McKesson patient support representative to each consumer to build personal conversations and crafting behavioral-based call center scripts to uncover barriers and help guide patients through the information-gathering and procedure-decision process.

As a result of the outreach, more than 5,000 incremental informational seminars were scheduled and 93% of patients who scheduled through the program attended seminars. This represented a six-fold increase in attendance for consumers that received phone calls, compared to those who only received emails, McKesson noted. In addition to the additional seminars scheduled, many patients bypassed the seminar phase with more than 2,600 scheduling a Lap-Band procedure and 1,000 scheduling an initial consultation with a surgeon. 

The LEO Quality Care Program was conducted on behalf of LEO Pharma, makers of the Taclonex brand of products, and was designed to provide additional patient education materials and support to patients suffering from plaque psoriasis. The program featured three primary components — a patient start kit, a support line and follow-up emails and direct mailers. 

The campaign results highlighted that patients who received additional support and education through the program were more likely to be adherent to their medications over time. For example, results demonstrated that patients who registered to receive communications from registered nurses and health educators were 20% more likely to receive a second and third prescription fill when compared to patients who only receive co-pay support. 

For a complete list of MM&M finalists, click here.

For a complete list of PM360 Trailblazer Awards, click here.


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