What Drives Health Mindset and Expectations in the United States?
Published in: Journal of Public Health Policy (2022). doi: 10.1057/s41271-022-00382-6
Posted on RAND.org on December 21, 2022
Health mindset is a group of beliefs or assumptions that individuals hold about the causes of health and well-being. Strengthening our understanding of factors that shape mindset and how mindset shapes expectations for who can and should be responsible for health can inform the success and sustainability of solutions to current health crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing disparities in health outcomes, and gun violence. We first examined associations between personal characteristics and experiences with health mindset. Next, we examined the association between mindset and the belief that government involvement can help address pressing health questions, using obesity as an example of a health outcome that is shaped both by personal choices and factors outside one's control. Going forward, it will be important to consider health mindset in broader transformations of the health system and population approaches to improving health.