U.S. attempts to measure people’s happiness with stark numbers; nutritionists study the psychology of obesity; CDC study links nurse burnout to instances of healthcare-associated infection rates in hospitals; five facts about the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. These stories and more topping public health headlines today, Thursday, August 2, 2012.
USA Today – Is the USA moving toward a ‘happiness index’?
Which makes you happier — a pay raise or job security? Another TV or a friend next door? A bigger house or more free time? Most countries measure how well they’re doing in stark numbers: money earned, electronics sold and homes built. But an increasing number are asking: Shouldn’t we find out how happy people are with all this stuff? The United States, home to the smiley face and the Happy Meal, is attempting to do just that, responding to a movement that has been hailed as revolutionary and derided as “silly” or worse.
USA Today – From brain to mouth: The psychology of obesity
Everyone knows that people put on weight because they consume more calories than they burn. But as the medical community struggles to get a handle on obesity in the USA, a growing body of research is delving deeper to find out more about the psychology behind the numbers. Although people might be inclined to think of nutritionists or dietitians, obesity is “one of the big common public health issues that falls right in the heart of psychology,” says psychologist Paul Rozin of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
New York Times – The Clatter of the Hospital Room
Clasping her chest and struggling to breathe, the small, birdlike woman had landed once again in the hospital for complications of kidney failure. It was her third visit in the last year and now, with fluid building up around her heart, she had come back in, but only after her family had pleaded with her for a day to do so. “Oh, it’s not because I don’t want to feel better,” she fumed as she lay gasping on her hospital bed. “It’s because I can’t get better here, with all those alarms and people waking me up to give me pills and take my blood pressure and get my blood.” She stopped for a moment to catch her breath, then started crying. “I feel like I get sicker in the hospital because I can’t get any sleep!”
Washington Post – Five facts about the health law’s contraceptive mandate
Remember that part of the health reform law, that requires insurance companies to provide contraceptives at no cost to subscribers? After surviving a heated debate earlier this year, the regulation went into effect today. Here are five things to know about it.
New Public Health – Nurse staffing, burnout linked to hospital infections
Nurse burnout leads to higher healthcare-associated infection rates (HAIs) and costs hospitals millions of additional dollars annually, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Researchers from the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing analyzed data previously collected by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, the American Hospital Association Annual Survey, and a 2006 survey of more than 7,000 registered nurses from 161 hospitals in Pennsylvania to study the effect of nurse staffing and burnout on catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and surgical site infections (SSI), two of the most common HAIs.