By Jessica Leavitt
The difficulties confronted by means of doctors and car mechanics are in many ways particularly similar—something isn't really operating correct and has to be mounted. they need to either work out the reason for malfunctions and be certain the ideal remedies. but, the mechanic has little need to fret approximately an automobile's psyche; the categorical mechanical elements are the single ones that come into play. In healthiness care, although, the criteria influencing results are broader, extra advanced, and coloured by means of the underlying mental components of these concerned. those components have profound results. medical professionals are frequently stimulated by means of sufferers' description of indicators, but details is frequently incomplete or faulty or coloured via the patient's personal reviews. The doctor's personal demeanor may well tremendously have an effect on results, as can the doctor's skill to interpret the ever-expanding scientific literature. those underlying impacts are usually now not said, and but they could have far-reaching results. Acknowledging those mental components and studying easy methods to conquer them are the 1st steps in enhancing communications among medical professionals and sufferers and to bettering analysis and therapy. the following, the authors supply options for remedying the location and relocating ahead to a greater knowing of doctor-patient visits and their outcomes.
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Additional info for Improving Medical Outcomes: The Psychology of Doctor-Patient Visits
37 There is another reason for tempering enthusiasm about new medical treatments. A favorable report of a new treatment typically stimulates further research. The new research often shows that the true treatment effects are much smaller than the effects initially reported. 38 Number Needed to Treat (NNT) Most clinical studies compare how much better people would fare with a particular treatment than without it. " The NNT statistic is simple to compute, reflects effect size, and can be a good complement to statistical significance analysis.
Confronted with so many options, doctors may choose one they would otherwise have rejected-or they may not choose at all. Redelmeier and Shafir asked family doctors to decide whether to start a patient with chronic hip pain on a new drug. For half the doctors, only one drug was available. For the other half, two similar drugs were available. Whereas 72 percent prescribed when given only the one-drug option, only 53 percent prescribed when they had to choose between twO. 21 The problem is not restricted to drug alternatives.
16 Ninety-eight percent of published studies favored the drug produced by the company funding the research. 17 INTERPRETING MEDICAL INFORMATION 29 • Walton located 164 published papers on the artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet). All of the seventy-four studies funded by the manufacturers of N utraSweet reported that aspartame is safe; eighty-three of the other ninety studies identified potentially serious health problems caused by aspartame. 1S Impact of advertising: • Editors of scientific journals are pressured by advertisers to reject material harmful to the advertiser's products.