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I. CHAPTER 16 CONSUMERISM LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Explain why responsible consumerism is important to Americans and how to encourage consumers to take action. 2. Explain why self-diagnosis, self-help, and self-care are becoming increasingly important in our quest for health and well-being. 3. Discuss the choices available to Americans who seek health care through allopathic avenues, as well as factors that should be considered in making decisions about health care. 4. Describe the U.S. health care system in terms of types of medical practice, provider groups, and the changing structures of managed care and other options. 5. Discuss key issues in American health care services in terms of cost, quality, and access to services. 6. Discuss the different types of health insurance available in the United States and the role they play in providing health care. OUTLINE I. Responsible Consumerism: Choices and Challenges. A. Advertisers persuade people to buy products by emphasizing the produce as a status symbol, and playing on inner fears and insecurities. B. Some false claims may seem true based on two conditions: 1. Spontaneous remission refers to the disappearance of symptoms without any apparent cause or treatment. 2. The placebo effect is an apparent cure or improved state of health brought on by a substance, product, or procedure with no generally recognized therapeutic value. II. Taking Responsibility for Your Health Care A. Self-care consists of knowing your own body and its signals and taking appropriate action to stop the progression of illness and injury or to improve your overall health. 1. Examples of self-care are: a. Diagnosis of symptoms or conditions that occur frequently but may not need a physician visit b. Breast and testicular self-exam c. First aid for common, uncomplicated injuries d. Checking blood pressure, pulse, and temperature e. Home pregnancy tests and ovulation kits f. Natural family planning g. Having periodic cholesterol checks i. Using home stool test kits j. Using self-help books, tapes, and videos k. Relaxation techniques, including meditation, nutrition, rest, and exercise B. A physician should be consulted if there is a serious accident or injury, severe trauma, sudden onset of symptoms, or if any symptoms are unusual and recur over time. C. Assessing the qualifications of a physician is an important part of responsible consumerism. 1. Many studies indicate that many people’s greatest concerns when choosing a doctor have less to do with medical 1
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qualifications than with availability, personality, and a seeming attitude of caring.
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