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The Listening Project

Winter 2012 - Health

The Winter 2012 Listening Project survey featured a series of questions that polled respondents about their thoughts and experiences with health. ideastream’s multiple media health project has been on radio, television and web for almost three years and health issues continue to be in the news.  Below are the survey questions, and selected responses from the 47 respondents.

Question #1: Have you viewed, listened or read any of ideastream’s Health coverage? Choose all that apply.

Question 1

“Most have been both relevant and interesting.”

“Very insightful and well prepared.”

“I rarely review TV programming guides.”

“I’d like more health reporting.”

Question #2: Has ideastream’s Health coverage led you to… (choose all that apply)

Question 2

“Research through reading.”

“Pay less attention to health journalism that is not about a specific piece of research.”

“Read about brain plasticity research.”

“The Sound of Ideas show on SAD and light boxes encouraged me to purchase a light box. First winter in
I don’t know how long that I wasn’t depressed. THANK YOU!”

“These programs have really made me understand better several of my friends’ situations.  It’s not that I wasn’t compassionate before, but I just didn’t quite understand how crippling some conditions can be.”

Question #3: What health subjects would you like ideastream to focus on in the future, and why?

“Sleep Apnea, Lou Gehrig’s Disease ALS, and alternative biochemical therapies (see books by Joan Matthews Larson, PhD).”

“Whenever you speak to a healthcare provider about a new procedure or treatment , please discuss the cost.  Please ask about both the “charges” and the actual “allowed cost” that an insurance company would pay.  Then ask for a justification for those charges...how many man hours.”

“Autism, depression, anxiety.”

“Mental health issues as it relates to perimenopausal and menopause.”

“Children’s health issues and the financial constraints imposed for those ‘between’ the margins for ‘affordable’ health-care and those of us who make too ‘much’ and too little to qualify. Health-wise, our children are being left behind.”

“Revisit some of the big topics; i.e., heart, stroke, etc…more in-depth.”

“Digestive health.”

“Mental health issues.”

“I would like to hear more about the health risks of chemical contraception.  There is plenty of information out there with respect to cancers caused by chemical birth control and the United Nations WHO rates it a Class 1 carcinogen.  It is time that ideastream and the Plain Dealer started a fair reporting of this.”

“Healthy food and real sources of excess sodium and sugar. How the food industry is making us sick.  The reality of vitamin D deficiency in northern latitudes and paranoia bout skin cancers related to sunlight exposure.  Dermatologists tend to lie about needed sun exposure and ignore that sunlight needs vary with skin pigmentation.”

“Alternative medicine - certainly there are “experts” other than UH and CC.”

“Alzheimer’s, as Case Western seems to be working on an advancement in this terrible disease.  Likewise caregivers need more access to knowledge and support.”

Question #4: What statement best describes your own health?

Question 4

“I’m okay but could lose some weight and exercise more.”

“How about I exercise regularly and mostly eat OK? :)”

“I think I’m okay, for how I am. Lotta pills--does that make me not okay?”

“I drink, smoke, work hard, drink hard and laugh at all the liberals who are so worried about their health.”

Question #5: What statement best describes your feelings about the quality of your own health care?

Question 5

“Currently without healthcare, unemployed, very dissatisfied.”

“I have good doctors.  I am on Medicaid for my insurance and it has proven to be a handicap to my doctors in providing the medications that I need.  I had a serious infection and Medicaid would not cover the antibiotics that worked best for the situation which resulted in my being sicker longer.”

“I have to put my sons’ healthcare first, I cannot afford mine.”

“Thank goodness for Medicare & prescription help.”

“I am satisfied with my current health care - but I am healthy.  If I would become sick - the costs are out of this world.”

“I have no health care except for a small bottle of St Ann’s oil brought back as a gift from Europe.”

“US health care is the most expensive in the world but still ranks 30th in outcomes.  This means it is pretty lousy.”

Question #6: There have been some changes in health insurance and there are more changes coming. Which one of the following statements describes your feelings about these changes?

Question 6

“Optimistic but probably still won’t be able to afford to buy health insurance.”

“Insurance is not the issue. Outrageous charges are the issue.”

“Health insurance is getting way too expensive.”

“This is terrific for my children and others who currently have employers who do not provide health insurance and they cannot afford to buy on their own.  Hurray if it works.”

“If there is a break in the system for fair pricing and affordability without extreme PPO co-pays, and the worry of extreme medical bills, I do not think the current or future healthcare can help unless the HMO’s, hospitals and general health-care charges and practices are overhauled.”

“Think we need better health care coverage for people under 65.”

“I think government should leave people alone.”

“I am current satisfied, and I do not know of any planned changes to my health insurance, but if I leave my present employment I am not certain how the rules will affect me.”

Question #7: Do you think health care is a personal or community responsibility?

Question 7

“Both.  I think health insurers and pharmaceutical companies need more regulation so that health care options are affordable and not just for the wealthy.”

“The problem with health care is the cost. The cost is caused by the fact that someone else pays for it. This gives heath care providers license to charge insane amounts. For example, installing a cardiac stent takes about 30 minutes and involves 3 to 5 medical professionals and an overnight stay in a hospital tied to a heart monitor. For that period a technician monitors 5 or 10 such monitors. For this, local hospitals charge $100,000.00. If there were no pooling of risk, if people paid medical bills themselves, hospitals would not get away with such outrageous charges. When you interview people from UH and the Cleveland Clinic about wonderful new procedures, please don’t forget to ask how much they cost and ask them to explain the number of man hours involved and how much they charge for the procedure. Ask them to justify the charges. Then ask them how much insurance companies pay for the same procedure and ask them to justify charging the uninsured 3 times as much.”

“I feel it has to be both.”

“I think that the community (society) should help people to get the best care that they can (tests, preventative care, access to doctors and insurance), but it is ultimately up to the individual to follow through and choose what is best for him or her.”

“It takes a village.”

“It’s both --- it is a personal responsibility to take care of yourself, but when you are sick/sickly, It is a community/state/country responsibility. The objective of this question concerns me.”

“I feel that we all should take care of ourselves to the degree that we do not over burden others except in emergencies.”

“It is both: we must make a personal commitment to good health practices but the community has responsibilities too.”

Question #8: Where do you get health information? Choose all that apply.

Question 8

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