For decades, doctors have used quantifiable data from tests to help determine the effectiveness of a treatment. But now health-care providers are adding the patient’s feeling about their condition and overall well-being to the list of measures. Providers would like programs where nurses or trained counselors meet with people and ask questions along the lines of “How is your health affecting your quality of life?” The reasoning is that people are more likely to manage their condition if their goal is to play more with their kids than aiming for a specific blood-sugar level. A study in the February issue Population Health Management found that higher self-reported well-being was associated with fewer hospitalizations, ER visits and medication use.

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