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Communication with the COPD patient (a short approach)

Posted Apr 11 2012 9:50pm

Patients differ
Each patient has a different style. Assuming that all patients react to medical opinions in the same way, might even jeopardize the clinical outcomes as well as the perception of the professional medical style.

Physicians differ
Most physicians also have different styles of communications. Some are even afraid of communicating facts as the patients require them. Unfortunately, some may disregard the importance of emotions as they relate to the reality of COPD.

COPD differs
COPD is a progressive disease, although there are options for managing symptoms. The options just need to be fitted in the patients needs. For instance, the medical journal CHEST, published the results of an assessment of patients with Ischemic Heart Disease and COPD. The co-existence of diseases is not uncommon and require that medical judgment shines beyond guidelines.

Even medications
Certain patients might benefit from the use of certain medications and others from others. This needs to be communicated to patients so they can help and support the clinician’s approach. Otherwise, the confusion will take control of the patient-physician relationship.
When the patient listen to the advise of physicians, it is important to also relate to their mood, cultural background, age, training, and more.

Thinking beyond the obvious
Let us not think that the physician is a scanner of symptoms or a prescriptions’ dispenser but a human with knowledge that needs to administer it for a variety of patients that might include: severe patients, mild patients, patients who refuse inhalers, active smokers, and more.
Put passions aside and try to understand your physicians.

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