Women May Be Major Healthcare Consumers, but Talking with Their Doctors is Rare

Women have long been the nurturers of the world and in the new millennium, an abundance of online health-related information, the impact of managed healthcare, an increased focus on new medications and the integration of healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices have helped women become more savvy healthcare consumers or decision-makers.

But it may come as a surprise that even though women are managing their families’ health and wellness, they aren’t prioritizing their own health and well-being. The National Women’s Health Resource Center (healthywomen.org) says that “71 percent of women are their family’s ‘health CEO,'” but the group also says that women aren’t always their own best healthcare advocates.

Based on a NWHRC survey and other key revelations, an education initiative called “Take 10 To Talk” encouraged women to get more out of every doctor visit by discussing issues, such as what medications they take, and being more upfront about their personal healthcare concerns.

In the fall of 2005, Tobin Communications, Inc. produced a Radio Media Tour on behalf of Edelman’s client, NWHRC, to get the word out about this pressing issue. Amy Niles, president and CEO of the NWHRC, was interviewed by 18 radio journalists to discuss the NWHRC-sponsored campaign. (The organization wanted to drive women to its Web site where there is a wide range of online information, current news, links and resources available.)

Niles’ message was simple and based on these suggestions for women:

T – Tell your healthcare team about all prescription and non-prescription medications you and your family members take;
A – Ask about health screenings and how your family’s medical history may affect you;
L – Learn where to find reliable health information and how to use it; and
K – Kick start your health goals today with small changes that will lead to better health.