Improving Medical Outcomes
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Improving Medical Outcomes

The Psychology of Doctor-Patient Visits
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Jessica Leavitt
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]

The ability of doctors to properly diagnose and treat patients is often colored by non-specific factors that can affect outcomes in profound ways. Communication between doctors and patients is key, but often what is left unsaid is just as important, and messages from outside sources such as medical journals, drug companies, and other patients can affect how a doctor treats any one patient at any one time. This book outlines the non-specific factors that come into play when doctors and patients interact, how both doctors and patients can overcome these messages to focus in on the health of the person sitting on the table, and how psychological factors in both the doctor and the patient can affect medical outcomes. Anyone hoping to improve the medical care they give or the medical care they get will find in these pages strategies for improving those results.
The problems faced by medical doctors and automobile mechanics are in some ways quite similar—something isn't working right and must be fixed. They must both figure out the cause of malfunctions and determine the appropriate treatments. Yet, the mechanic has no need to worry about an automobile's psyche; the specific mechanical factors are the only ones that come into play. In health care, however, the factors influencing outcomes are broader, more complicated, and colored by the underlying psychological factors of those involved. These factors have profound effects. Doctors are often influenced by patients' description of symptoms, yet information is often incomplete or inaccurate or colored by the patient's own experiences. The doctor's own demeanor may greatly affect outcomes, as can the doctor's ability to interpret the ever-expanding medical literature. These underlying influences are often not acknowledged, and yet they can have far-reaching consequences. Acknowledging these psychological factors and learning how to overcome them are the first steps in improving communications between doctors and patients and to improving diagnosis and treatment. Here, the authors offer strategies for remedying the situation and moving forward to a better understanding of doctor-patient visits and their outcomes.
1. Doctor-Patient Communication
2. Interpreting Medical Information
3. Decisions Overview
4. Biases
5. Medical Diagnosis: The Problems
6. Reducing Diagnostic Errors
7. Prescription for Prescribing
8. Expectation Effects
9. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
10. Patient Outlook and Social Connectedness
11. Healing Environments
Appendix 1: Psychiatric Diagnosis
Appendix 2: Darwinian Medicine
Appendix 3: Wellness Strategies