Health care providers not doing enough to manage patient stress, new APA survey finds

A new survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) has found that many adults feel they are not receiving the help they need from the health care system to manage the stress in their lives, reports Medical News Today.

Of those surveyed, only 17 percent stated that they often or always had conversations with their health care providers about stress management, though 32 percent believed that having these types of discussions with their physicians is very or extremely important. More than half of the participants reported that they received little or no support for managing their stress. Twenty percent reported experiencing “extreme stress,” and 35 percent stated that their stress had increased over the past year.

The results also indicate that “Millennials,” adults aged 18- to 33-years-old, have stress levels that are higher than the national average. This group rated their health care providers lower than any other age group, and nearly half answered “no” or “not sure” when asked whether they believed they were doing enough to manage their stress.

More than 2,000 American adults responded to the survey, “Stress in America: Missing the Health Care Connection.” It is the latest in a series of surveys the APA has commissioned annually since 2007 to measure attitudes and perceptions of stress, as well as sources of stress, behaviors used to manage it and the impact it has on people’s lives.

In a press release from the APA, CEO Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D., said:

“When people receive professional help to manage stress and make healthy behavior changes they do better at achieving their health goals. Unfortunately, our country’s health system often neglects psychological and behavioral factors that are essential to managing stress and chronic diseases.

In order for our nation to get healthier, lower the rates of chronic illnesses, and lower health care costs, we need to improve how we view and treat stress and unhealthy behaviors that are contributing to the high incidence of disease in the U.S.”

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