Migraine patients face the same overall degree of stigma that is attached to epilepsy, although they may experience less discrimination, according to two studies reported in Medpage, as excerpted below:
“An Internet-based survey of 705 individuals quizzed on their attitudes toward patients with epilepsy, migraine, and other conditions indicated that levels of stigma — such as beliefs that such people would make poor work colleagues or dinner party guests — were similar between epilepsy and migraine, said Robert Shapiro, MD, PhD, of the University of Vermont in Burlington.
“Separately, questionnaires distributed to 123 patients with episodic migraine, 123 with chronic migraine, and 62 with epilepsy indicated similar self-perceived levels of stigma associated with episodic migraine and epilepsy, according to William Young, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues. Both studies were reported at the International Headache Congress.
“Chronic migraine patients scored substantially higher on the Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness (SSCI) than either of the other two groups — mean 54.0 (SD 20.2) versus 41.7 (SD 14.8) for episodic migraine and 44.6 (SD 16.3) for epilepsy — but that appeared to be driven by the chronic migraine patients’ genuinely reduced ability to work, the researchers indicated. Continue reading “Migraines and stigma”
There is good news, and there is not-so-good news. An overwhelming share of America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults (92%) say society has become more accepting of them in the past decade and an equal number expect it to grow even more accepting in the decade ahead, reports the Pew organization today. “They attribute the changes to a variety of factors, from people knowing and interacting with someone who is LGBT, to advocacy on their behalf by high-profile public figures, to LGBT adults raising families.
“At the same time, however, a new nationally representative survey of 1,197 LGBT adults offers testimony to the many ways they feel they have been stigmatized by society. About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 30% say they have been physically attacked or threatened; 29% say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship; and 21% say they have been treated unfairly by an employer. About six-in-ten (58%) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes. Continue reading “New Pew study of LGBT Americans”
Public opinion surveys conducted since the bombings last week at the Boston Marathon indicate that most Americans — while convinced future attacks are quite likely — don’t feel personally threatened by terrorism, and an increasing share of the public is skeptical about sacrificing personal freedoms for security, reports FiveThirtyEight.com
“Concern about another terrorist episode in the United States has increased after the events in Boston, which led to the deaths of four people and wounded more than 260. But there has not been the upsurge in concern over such an attack that there was in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City. The post-Boston polls have also shown that Americans’ personal sense of threat — as opposed to the generalized threat that the country faces — remains low.
“Just after the 9/11 attacks, a Washington Post poll found that the threat of another major terror attack was something that worried nearly 9 in 10 Americans either “a great deal” or “somewhat.”
“In the most recent Washington Post survey, roughly 7 in 10 respondents were worried either a great deal or somewhat. That figure increased just slightly from the last time the newspaper asked this question, in September 2008. Continue reading “Most are resolved to live with terrorism fears”
The cliché that liberals shop at Trader Joe’s, while conservatives prefer Walmart, is no doubt overstated. But where would the perception come from?
Newly published research provides a compelling answer: brand-name products. Conservatives gravitate toward them, and Walmart, unlike Trader Joe’s, is packed with them, reports Salon.com.
“That provocative conclusion can be drawn from a study in the journal Psychological Science. A research team led by Vishal Singh of New York University’s Stern School of Business has discovered a relationship between voting behavior, high levels of religiosity, and “seemingly inconsequential product choices.”
“They argue that your decision to vote for a certain candidate, and purchase a particular brand of detergent, springs from the same basic impulse:“Our empirical results, based on extensive field data, provide strong evidence that more conservative ideology is associated with higher reliance on established national brands (as opposed to generics) and a slower uptake of new products.”
“These tendencies are consistent with traits typically associated with conservatism, such as aversion to risk, skepticism about new experiences, and a general preference for tradition, convention, and the status quo.”The researchers used a comprehensive database that tracks weekly store sales of thousands of products. Focusing on 416 counties which collectively represent 47 percent of the U.S. population, they calculated the market share of generics in 26 categories, including coffee, deodorant, and peanut butter. Continue reading “Counting liberals at Trader Joe’s”
The share of American households with guns has declined over the past four decades, a national survey shows, with some of the most surprising drops in the South and the Western mountain states, where guns are deeply embedded in the culture, reports the New York Times
“The gun ownership rate has fallen across a broad cross section of households since the early 1970s, according to data from the General Social Survey, a public opinion survey conducted every two years that asks a sample of American adults if they have guns at home, among other questions. Continue reading “Gun ownership lowest in 40 years”
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that, given the opportunity, they would vote “for” allowing women to serve in combat roles.These results are from a Gallup survey conducted just after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on women serving in direct combat. Gallup states that:”The findings, from a quick-reaction poll conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking on Jan. 24, also show that men and women are equally likely to favor allowing women to serve in combat roles.
“There are modest partisan differences. Democrats, including independents who lean Democratic, are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to support allowing women to serve in combat — 83% vs. 70% — although clear majorities from both parties favor it. Those who are younger are more likely to favor the policy than are those who are older. Among those aged 18 to 49, 84% favor the policy, compared with 63% of those aged 50 and older — a difference of 21 percentage points. Continue reading “Strong public support for women in combat”
Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) today announced research findings showing the usefulness of self-help books for the treatment of mental health conditions like depression.
“Patients offered books, plus sessions guiding them in how to use them, had lower levels of depression a year later than those offered usual GP care,” reports the BBC.
“The effect was seen in addition to the benefits of other treatments such as antidepressants, Scottish researchers report in the journal Plos One. Such an approach may help the NHS tackle demand for therapy, they said.
“More than 200 patients who had been diagnosed with depression by their GP took part in the study, half of whom were also on antidepressant drugs. Some were provided with a self-help guide dealing with different aspects of depression, such as being assertive or overcoming sleep problems.Patients also had three sessions with an adviser who helped them get the most out of the books and plan what changes to make. After four months those who had been prescribed the self-help books had significantly lower levels of depression than those who received usual GP care. Continue reading “Self-help books seem to work for depression”
Like a lot of things, people define “health” differently around the world.
A recent global study of ‘wellness” attitudes revealed that
– One quarter of young men and 17 percent of young women think that Facebook contributes to a sedentary lifestyle.
– Globally, cancer is thought to be the top disease people think will kill them, though heart attacks are also of utmost concern to people in the U.K. and Alzheimer’s disease is of utmost concern to people in Japan.
– Americans want to live the longest, saying in the survey that they hope to live to 92. Meanwhile, people in Turkey hope to live to 59, and people in China hope to live to 84.
– Mental health would be chosen over physical health if it came down to it for people in the U.K., U.S., Brazil and Turkey. Continue reading “The wide world of “wellness””
Celebrity internet affairs and embarassed government officials may be all the news is talking about, but what if your Facebook habits could keep you out of college? In a story today from CNN called “Does Facebook hurt your college chances?”
“This fall, a Kaplan Test Prep survey showed that an increasing number of college admissions officers were discovering information on Facebook and Google that hurt a student’s acceptance chances.
“According to the Kaplan survey, 27% of admissions officers checked Google and 26% looked on Facebook as part of their applicant-review process. Thirty-five percent of those doing so — compared with 12% in 2011 — found material that negatively impacted their view of a student.
“The results of the survey would, I thought, cause college-bound students and their parents to lash out in anger. Students are under so much stress. College costs are up, and winning the admissions race seems harder than ever.”
New research reveal that attitudes in California about domestic violence have evolved significantly in recent years. Now the vast majority of respondents believe that the abuse can happen to anyone, and 66 percent said that they have a friend or family member who has been a victim, according to a story in today’s Huffington Post titled “Domestic Violence Survey Shows Shift in Attitudes, Awareness.” The story draws from research done by the San Francisco polling firm Tulchin Research and was funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation.
As reported in Huffington Post, “Victim advocates said that the results of the survey illustrate a marked shift in public opinion and awareness of the topic in recent decades.
“Thirty years ago, domestic violence ‘was not an issue that people would talk about or that people felt was a serious problem,’ said Esta Soler, president of Futures Without Violence, a national anti-violence organization that receives funding from the Blue Shield of California Foundation. “For most people, they thought that if it happened at all, it happened someplace else.”
“Futures Without Violence, formerly known as the Family Violence Prevention Fund, has previously conducted surveys on attitudes related to domestic violence. According to its 1994 survey of Californians, 32 percent reported knowing women who were physically abused. The organization’s 2000 poll of American men found that 51 percent of the respondents said that they believed a friend or family member was in a physically abusive relationship; that number ticked up to 56 percent in a 2007 poll.
‘The new survey of California adults also explored opinions on prevention programs for adolescents and teens, and respondents largely supported teaching high school and middle school students about dating abuse as a way of preventing domestic abuse. Eighty-nine percent of the survey respondents said that they think it is appropriate to teach high school students about the topic, and 82 percent said it was also appropriate to discuss the issue with middle school students.”
As public sentiment favoring marriage equality continues to grow, troubling realities persist for the transgender community. A new analysis in the state of Colorado points to striking patterns of employment discrimination, which the study links to poverty, homelessness, and limited health care access.
As reported today by Lindsay Miller in Edge, state-wide analysis of the National Transgender Discrimination Study finds that “transgender Coloradans still face serious obstacles in the form of discrimination that affects nearly every aspect of their lives, from workplace discrimination to unemployment to homelessness to health care inequalities.
The One Colorado Education Fund and the Gender Identity Center of Colorado released the state’s breakout data. See, “Transgender Coloradans Face Daunting Obstacles.” Continue reading “Troubling report on trans discrimination”
These days the Pew Research Center has been doing more than polling voters. In a new study, Pew reports a precipitous drop in the number of Americans who identify as “religious.” In a report entitled “”Nones” on the Rise,” Pew finds that “one-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%). This large and growing group of Americans is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives. Continue reading “One in five Americans now “non-religious””