It seem like everyone these days is focused on changing some aspect of patient health behavior. You know — getting patients to get a mammogram or PSA test, exercise more, take medications as prescribed, or simply becoming more engaged in their healthcare. If only we could change unhealthy patient health behaviors, the world would be a better place.
I agree with the sentiment, but I think that patients and their health behavior often get a “bad rap” from healthcare professionals. I would even go so far as to say that much (not all) of what we attribute to poor patient behavior is more correctly attributable to ineffective doctor communications with patients.
In my last post I talked about the link between strong physician advocacy, e.g., I recommend, and desirable health outcomes, i.e., patients getting more preventive screening.
Here’s what I mean. Mammography studies have consistently shown that screening mammograms rates would be much high if more physicians “strongly recommended” that women get screened, e.g., “I recommend” you get a mammogram. In studies where physicians advocated for screening, mammography screening rates were always higher compared to physicians that did not advocate for them. The same phenomenon can be found in studies dealing with exercise, weight loss, colorectal cancer screening, HVP immunization, and patient participation in clinical trials. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*