Guest Post, Uncategorized

Navigating Health Information on the Web

Jen Searl, MLS, CHWC

If you’re like the majority of Americans (over 60%), you use the internet to find health information. And why wouldn’t you? The internet is full of answers to any question you could possibly have. However it’s important to remember that not all websites are created equal. Just because you read something on the internet does not mean that is true! Read below for things to look for when evaluating health websites.

  • Source: Who is the owner of the website? For example, is it a non- profit, federal government agency, pharmaceutical company or other? Often the ‘About’ section on a website will give you this information.
  • Bias: Is the website trying to sell you something? Is it difficult to tell what an advertisement is and what is fact?
  • Quality: Where does the information come from? Is it based on solid research or personal experience?
  • Date: When was the website last updated? Is the information current? Are there broken links?

You can tell a lot about a website from how it ends:

.gov = This website is owned and operated by the government. An example would be medlineplus.gov, an excellent source of health information

.org =This website is owned and operated by an organization. When looking for diabetes information, a great reputable source of information is the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org

.edu = This website is owned and operated by an educational institution, such as a college or university. An example would be www.health.harvard.edu, a division of Harvard Medical School

.com = This website is owned and operated usually by a commercial site. When looking at .coms, use the tips above. Some websites, like ours www.mghdiabeteseducation.com is a great source of health information! Others can be less reliable so use your judgment.

If you ever wonder if information you have read is true, make sure to talk with your diabetes educator. They know you and your diabetes best!

Announcements

2014 – 2015 MGH Central Flu Clinic Schedule

The 2014-2015 flu season is quickly approaching. Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect you and others from getting or spreading the flu.  We encourage all of our patients to consider getting a flu shot, especially those that are at high risk for getting the flu.  People who are high risk are:

  • People with medical conditions, like asthma and diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 6 months to 5 years
  • People older than  65 years of age
  • People who live with or care for others considered to be high-risk

Flu shots will be available on the MGH Main Campus on the following dates:

MGH Centralized Flu Shot Program
Wang Ambulatory Center Main Lobby
October 6th through November 21st
Monday-Friday:  8:00am-6:00pm
9:00am-3:00pm on Monday, October 13th (Columbus Day)

 

For more information, please call our flu hotline at 877-733-3737.  You can also visit www.massgeneral.org/flu or www.facebook.com/massgeneral for more details.

Fitness, Guest Post

My Be Fit Success Story

By Jina Rameau, RN, MPH
Project Specialist

I was new to the MGH community, just 3 months into my position. During new employee orientation, I heard about all the benefits we can access. One in particular really caught my attention:  the MGH Be Fit program. Be Fit is the MGH employee wellness program, a free 10-week program that focuses on helping employees learn to eat healthier and exercise more with guidance from nutritionists and personal trainers.

I knew I wanted to join the program, and began contacting the directors. There was one hiccup:  I was pretty new to my department, and the program requested teams of 15-25 people within your department. I remember thinking I don’t know enough people to get a group together! I explained my situation to one of the directors and promised my commitment to Be Fit. He advised I could possibly join another team! I was ecstatic, and couldn’t wait to be a part of the program.

I joined the team at the Diabetes Research Center (team name: Sweet Success).  The time flew by with weekly team breakout sessions with our nutritionist, Debra, and personal trainer, Pete. Weekly rallies were also held to review team stats for submission of food logs, the total time we spent exercising, how many times we practiced relaxation response techniques, and number of steps taken. There were a total of 6 teams, and Sweet Success remained within the Top 3 throughout the 10 weeks. We felt a sense of achievement whenever we took a trophy home.

In addition to 1 hour weekly strength training sessions with Pete, I also participated in the weekly group exercise classes at the gym right next to the hospital. I fell head over heels for Zumba:  a fun, effective workout system featuring dance moves set to Latin and International music.  As a result of Be Fit resources, I learned relaxation techniques (i.e. deep breathing and visualization) as well as nutrition facts like how to read a food label, portion size and healthy snacking.  I lost over 15lbs and continue to include exercise in my daily routine. It’s a lifestyle!

Go Team! Sweet Success'Be Fit Trophies

Announcements

MGH World Diabetes Day 2012

Please join us for World Diabetes Day at MGH. MGH logo with blue circle

Wednesday, November 14th 10am-3pm
MGH, 55 Fruit St – Main hospital lobby near Coffee Central

This annual event includes blood pressure screenings offered by clinicians and an on-site nutritionist available to answer any questions about diabetes self-care or management. Trivia games and fruit will also be provided.

Announcements

HELP DEVELOP LIFESTYLE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES

MGH logo with blue circle

The MGH Diabetes Center has been in the vanguard of research on lifestyle interventions to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. In studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) such as the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Look AHEAD study, MGH Diabetes Center dietitians and lifestyle coaches helped people living with type 2 diabetes take control of their health through teaching strategies for managing diet, exercise, and weight.

Now Linda Delahanty RD MS, one of the dietitians who pioneered those national programs, is leading the Improving Diabetes Outcomes through Lifestyle Change (IDOLc) Translation Studyat MGH.  The purpose of the IDOLc study is to look at the effect of a group lifestyle program on weight loss, diabetes control, and quality of life.  We believe it is a great opportunity for anyone with type 2 diabetes to connect with a dietitian experienced in diabetes.  In addition, we hope to find out whether the lifestyle program that worked in the national trial when spread out over the course of many years can provide similar benefits to patients in a shorter time frame.

You may be able to take part if you have type 2 diabetes, are overweight with stable weight for the past 3 months, and are at least 18 years old.  Everyone who participates will have a study visit and a 6-month follow up (both last 2 hours – parking costs will be covered for these visits).  Study volunteers will be randomly assigned (like the flip of a coin) to one of two groups.  One group will receive the usual nutrition and lifestyle care, meeting one-on-one with a dietitian.  The other will participate in the intervention program that focuses on teaching lifestyle skills related to a variety of nutrition, activity and behavioral topics (19 sessions total lasting approximately 1 to 1.5 hours each).  Click here to watch a quick video about the intervention being tested by this study.

Visit the Partners clinical trials website for more information.  You can also call
(617) 724-4981 or e-mail IDOLcStudy@partners.org with any questions.