Doctors often miss patients’ treatment preferences – Health – CBC News

Some advice for doctors on how to engage patients and understand their treatment preferences:

  • Adopt a mindset of scientific detachment, resisting the instinct to ask themselves, “What would I do in this situation?” because the patient may value the risks, benefits, and side-effects of the treatment options differently.
  • Form a provisional diagnosis based on available data on what a patient’s preference is likely to be, without assuming that the patient in front of them is the “average” patient.
  • Engage patients in shared decision-making by informing them of the options; discussing the risks, benefits, and side-effects of each, including non-treatment options like watchful waiting; and inquiring if they feel ready to make a decision.

Patients also, of course, have a role and need to come prepared with questions about options. Groopman’s book, How Doctors Think has some good suggestions (here) as well as some other articles (here and here).

Doctors often miss patients’ treatment preferences – Health – CBC News.

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