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What are the health risks of stress? What are the health benefits of stress management? How can poverty-related stressors and racial discrimination create synergistic effects? Learn why there is a crucial need for stress management services, especially for indigent and underserved populations, and how public health education can play a role in providing these services. Find out how to design a stress management program that emphasizes the balance between physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health and where to obtain the skills and resources necessary to teach such a program. Discover what barriers healthcare providers face in referring patients for stress management services, and how to help them overcome these barriers. Learn how to customize discussion topics, adapt printed materials, increase attendance and adherence, and overcome monetary and transportation barriers to address the specific needs of an indigent population. In addition, learn how to culturally tailor a stress management program for an urban African American population in the South by overcoming perceptual barriers (there may be fewer problems than you’d think), employing storytelling techniques, incorporating spiritual beliefs, and utilizing extended family and community support. How can you measure the success of such a program? Learn how to identify assessment tools to measure reductions in perceived stress, increases in coping skills, and improvements in health outcomes. Finally, reflect on the future directions for stress management and the need to clarify the role of public health in mind/body medicine.
Autoimmune & inflammatory diseases
Allergies, asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, & Rheumatoid Arthritis
Cardiovascular heart disease & risk factors
Hypertension & hypercholesterolemia
Chronic pain conditions
Headaches, back aches, arthritis, & fibromyalgia
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & ulcers
Cold, flu, dental caries, cancer, herpes outbreaks, HIV
Reproductive system problems
Menstrual irregularities & decreased fertilityHealth Risks of Chronic StressIncreased susceptibility to:
Decreased anxiety and depression
Enhanced sense of well-being
Better management of chronic disease
Better pain tolerance
Immune system functioning improved
Enhanced insulin controlHealth Benefits of Stress Management
Prevention of Disease and Successful Aging ? ?
The combination of poverty and discrimination may have a synergistic effect on stress.
Working with an indigent population means participants
have more immediate priorities than attending classes.
Weekly reminder phone calls help maintain attendance.
Q: Are indigent African American patients really going to want to meditate, or is this too white/new age-y/yuppie for them?
A: They have fewer pre-conceived notions than most of the middle-SES white staff do.