Social support can give you a leg upBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/social-support/MY01685
- With Mayo Clinic oncologist
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.Edward Creagan, M.D.
"The magic of the electronic village is transforming health information. The mouse and keyboard have extended the stethoscope to the 500 million people now online." — Dr. Edward Creagan
The power of the medium inspires Dr. Edward Creagan as he searches for ways to share Mayo Clinic's vast resources with the general public.
Dr. Creagan, a Newark, N.J., native, is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice medicine and palliative care. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1973 and in 1999 was president of the staff of Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Creagan, a professor of medical oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, was honored in 1995 with the John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine Award and in 1992 with the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award, Mayo's highest recognition. He has been recognized with the American Cancer Society Professorship of Clinical Oncology.
He describes his areas of special interest as "wellness as a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-financial model" and fitness, mind-body connection, aging and burnout.
Dr. Creagan has been an associate medical editor with Mayo Clinic's health information websites and has edited publications and CD-ROMs and reviewed articles.
"We the team of (the website) provide reliable, easy-to-understand health and wellness information so that each of us can have productive, meaningful lives," he says.
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Social support can give you a leg up
By Edward T. Creagan, M.D.
It's well known in the sports world that home teams do better than visiting teams over the course of a season. All sorts of explanations have been put forward for this phenomenon — the length of the grass, the consistency of the dirt on the field and the players knowing the direction of the wind. None of these hypotheses, however, have withstood the scrutiny of statistical analysis. So why does the hometown team more often win?
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The most significant factor in my book is the crowd. Consider this: The louder the venue, the larger the crowd and the closer the crowd is to the field, the more likely that marginal calls and judgment decisions will favor the hometown team. This isn't meant to disparage referees. It's simply a fact that all humans are influenced by social factors.
I've also seen social support make a difference when people are fighting a serious illness. Recently I visited two elderly women with the same condition. One woman was a widow with no family who lived in an apartment in a small Minnesota city. The other woman was surrounded by three loving daughters and two adult grandsons who lived within several blocks of her in a large southern city. The proposed treatment for each woman is potentially toxic and has serious side effects. It's easy to predict which woman is likely to do better with the treatment — the one with the social support.
So the lesson is clear. To survive and thrive, you need people in your life to support and encourage you. Consider that an inside tip from me to you.blog index