As many of my faithful readers know, Dr. Val is a big fan of Web 2.0 principles (blogging, online communities, wikis, forums, chats, podcasts, etc.) I’m even leading a weight loss group online, and there are almost 1400 members already. Although I’ve been trying hard to lead by example, I’ve had occasional hiccups in my own weight loss due to the sweet lure of fine dining. Could YOU resist silky, black sesame panna cotta with butter crunch tuile and spicy cranberry compote? Well maybe you could. For me, resistance is futile.
But I digress.
What I really wanted to point out (before my thoughts were derailed by deliciousness), is that research is now confirming what many of us bloggers have known instinctively: social networking can improve the health care experience. In the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, post operative pain and length of stay were reduced for those who had more social support. This means that the more frequent and broad your social contacts, the less likely you are to be bothered by pain, and the more likely you are to get out of the hospital faster. Let’s hear it for using CarePages, FaceBook, and other online support groups while in the hospital, and perhaps as outpatients as well.
And if feeling supported isn’t enough to get you on the right track, more research in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that mail reminders can improve post-heart attack medication compliance. Perhaps email reminders would work just as well (and kill fewer trees?) One thing is for sure – Health 2.0 tools can make an impact on peoples lives and I’m excited to be a part of that.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.