From obesity to depression, anxiety to attention problems, many children’s health issues have been linked to exposure to TV, movies, video games, or the Internet. Yet, media use can have positive effects as well, educating and connecting. With children ages 8-18 spending more than seven hours a day on electronic media, understanding the relationship between media and health—and helping to guide kids and their parents about media usage—is critical.
The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children’s Hospital is focused on this mission, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is collaborating with the center to develop an online toolkit for clinicians to use with children and their families.
To help us develop evidence-based resources that serve you best, we would like to hear about the media-related health problems you face and the questions you hear. If you are a clinician, please complete a brief survey by August 1, 2013.
Harvard Pilgrim is providing support for this project and to CMCH through our annual Quality Grants Program, which awards grants to innovative physician practices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Over the past 13 years, Harvard Pilgrim has funded more than 190 local care unit (LCU) based quality initiatives, primarily targeted at clinical practice transformation and care coordination. Harvard Pilgrim awarded a Quality Grant to CMCH in 2013.
The CMCH website includes a free online database of more than 4,000 scientific and research articles on the relationship between children’s use of media and their health and development. The site also features helpful advice for patients’ families, including newsletters, articles, and an “Ask the Mediatrician” blog, a Q&A about parenting in the digital age written by Dr. Michael Rich, Founder and Director of CMCH and a former filmmaker.
Look for an interview with Dr. Rich about the health effects of media in an upcoming issue of Network Matters.