Is Patient Empowerment a Myth?

Jason Maude jason.maude at ISABELHEALTHCARE.COM
Mon Oct 16 11:41:26 UTC 2017


Maybe the problem stems from the word ‘empowerment’ which generates totally unrealistic expectations. Nobody is really empowered.

The most we should expect at this stage is that patients get better informed and have a better understanding. Then they can ask better questions and, hopefully, make better decisions.

However, the range of responses from patients will be almost infinite across the spectrum of ages, mental state and education.  As they say in Yorkshire “There’s nowt so queer as folk”. How many clinicians really expect a sick, elderly lady to become medically empowered?

Regards
Jason

Jason Maude
Founder and CEO Isabel Healthcare
Tel: +44 1428 644886
Tel: +1 703 879 1890
www.isabelhealthcare.com<http://www.isabelhealthcare.com/>


From: Peggy Zuckerman <peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM>
Reply-To: Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine <IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>, Peggy Zuckerman <peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM>
Date: Monday, 16 October 2017 at 05:14
To: "IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG" <IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Is Patient Empowerment a Myth?

The very fact that this discussion exists reflects the changing dynamic that is beginning to occur in the medical world.  Patients rarely would describe themselves as 'empowered', nor would they say the same about their banking 'relationship'.  The very use of that term implies that the patient has received something, has been granted the ability or skills by someone else--someone in authority and with the right to pass on to the patient something which is not their own to claim independently.

Patients who seek to become more involved or engaged in their own care may seek the knowledge which has previously been withheld from them in the medical world. The unique set of skills which doctors hope to possess is not available to all, and though generally admired.  However, the barriers which have thereby separated the medical world from the patient have created a mistrust between those parties.

A patient is told not to try to learn about his symptoms, not to seek out Dr. Google, but then is unable to understand the medical jargon or the ramifications of the suggested treatment. When the doctor values the desire of the patient to learn about his own body's functioning, what the symptoms may signal, and how the prescribed treatment might be treated and monitored, the adult relationship is strengthened.

It is indeed, the engagement of the patient and doctor with one another which likely strengthens the relationship and the potential for improved outcomes.  And it is the lack of engagement, and the lack of mutual trust which leaves the patient vulnerable to the siren calls of the huckster.

Peggy Zuckerman

Peggy Zuckerman
www.peggyRCC.com<http://www.peggyRCC.com>

On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 12:05 PM, K D <kvdavis at cox.net<mailto:kvdavis at cox.net>> wrote:
The ancient Greek myth of Pandora's Box had Hope in the same box (urn) with the myriad curses of mankind. The ancient Greeks had a good bit more insight into human nature than we do today.
"Empowerment" is a word with no real meaning. People who participate in their own welfare, in any form, are behaving in a fashion consistent with "adult" behavior. Those who engage in magical thinking in any form are not engaging in adult behavior. I have had patient's bring reams of paper from internet searches and patients use the term "direct knowing" (http://ascensionglossary.com/index.php/Direct_Knowing) to attempt to guide my treatment of their ailment. I fully understand that "we" don't know everything. However the eradication of many of the pathogens that once were scourges is a testament to the efficacy of the scientific method in Western medicine. Those patients who grasp the basic tenets of modern western medicine are the ones who are more apt to engage in a therapeutic doctor/patient relationship. Those who are apt to use the word "empowered" don't generally fall into that camp.



On October 15, 2017 at 7:38 AM Mark Graber <Mark.Graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:Mark.Graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>> wrote:
Many of us are hoping engaged patients will improve diagnosis.  Will it happen ? …..

Medscape members can read this here<https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/886159_3>, and the article is also attached.

  Mark

Mark L Graber, MD FACP
President, SIDM
Senior Fellow, RTI International
Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook University, NY
[cid:image001.png at 01D3467C.140D95C0]



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