Doctor-patient communication breakdown

What doctors think they tell their patients and what the patients report hearing are very different.

excerpt below is from a Boston Globe article written by Elizabeth Cooney

The heart patients at Springfield’s Baystate Medical Center almost all thought the stents used to prop open their arteries would prevent a heart attack. But their doctors had told most of them before the procedure that it would do nothing more than relieve chest pain.

This yawning disconnect between what doctors say and patients hear was reported in a study published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Physicians say the communications gap extends to other types of elective treatments, as well, resulting in patient confusion and perhaps overuse of some procedures…

…We (the study’s authors) were looking at a simple question: what physicians think they told patients and what patients think they’ve heard,’’ Schweiger said. “We have a lot more work to do to figure out what the best way is to get accurate information to patients so they understand it.’’…

more via Study finds doctor-patient disconnect


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