Thursday Review: “Patients’ unvoiced agendas in general practice consultations: qualitative study”

In the discussions about how to bring the humanities into medicine, one essential feature often gets lost. The attempts to make care more human and more humane aren’t being done for the sake of warm fuzzies. There are concrete ways medical outcomes suffer when healthcare practitioners and patients aren’t communicating well.

Writing in The BMJ, Christine A. Barry, et al. provide one of the clearest discussions on medical outcomes suffering from ineffective communication, and why both patients and doctors are hesitant to change communication for the better.
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Thursday Review: “Challenges to physician-patient communication about medication use”

Do Patients Actually Take Their Medications?

There is a growing drive to move healthcare, specifically the doctor-patient relationship, from a “benevolent paternalism”1, 2 to a system where patient and physician co-create a treatment plan which gives the patient both the best health outcome and the best quality of life.

By most indications, that drive to make patients collaborators in their own care has been superficial at best.3 For example, with regards to medication use, the preferred language has shifted from the right-and-wrong, black-and-white “compliant” towards the gentler connotation of “adherent”. The focus on patient-centered care again moved the language of medication to “concordant”, something agreed upon by both patient and physician.
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