Doctor-Patient relationship in relation to share decision making

    • 22 Oct 2022
    • Author :
    The cornerstone of patient-focused care is shared decision-making. This involves interactions between a healthcare provider and patient to ensure quality decisions, particularly in managing patient care. The shared decision making approach also fosters discussions about the patient's health issues while providing medically sound treatment options and, in return, picking the best choice backed by evidence while considering the respective patient's concerns, goals, and preferences. Patients who are engaged in a shared decision-making process are completely informed and participate actively in picking the best treatment option possible. 
    Barriers in failure to foster doctor-patient relationship
    According to studies, shared decision-making improves health results and patients' commitment to treatment, fulfillment with decisions, and the general quality of care while reducing costs. In addition, the patient's personal preferences and lifestyle are also considered when the patient and doctor practice shared decision-making. Despite these advantages, healthcare providers still minimally engage patients with decisions concerning their health. The reason cited is partly because of the time it takes to negotiate effectively and the communication between the patient and healthcare provider. In addition, for some healthcare providers, shared decision-making is hard to achieve and is often not taught in medical training. Some of the barriers cited with failure to foster doctor-patient shared decision-making are in clinical situations, the high volume of patients, and the characteristics of the patient. Physicians may also not support shared decision-making when there are fewer treatment options, in emergency cases, the medical guidelines only have one option for treatment, or when the patient is unwilling to partake in the decision-making process.
    Factors that relate to Treatment Adherence
    Various factors affect patients' adherence to the treatment plans prescribed by healthcare providers. Among these are social factors, the healthcare system, and provider factors. One factor in the non-adherence to treatment is poor communication. Another factor is the engagement of the patient. According to a study about patient engagement, the more they are engaged, the better their health improves. One qualitative study also showed that patients value a good relationship with their physicians. This includes physicians meeting the patient at their level of understanding and providing them with the necessary education. 
    A shared decision-making approach and good communication can lead to improved medication adherence.
    Patients who are actively involved in making healthcare decisions were also shown to have better medication adherence. Improved adherence to medication was also seen when patients' and physicians' health beliefs and attitudes were aligned. 
    Another reason for non-adherence to medication is miscommunication between physician and patient. 
    In a study conducted back in 2007 by authors Dube, Lapane, Quilliam, and Schneider, they foudn thatq physicians only provides basic education with their medications, while patients want to learn more and have a better understanding about their medications, such as the duration of use, efficacy, benefits of the medication, side effects and so on. This lack of understanding led to reduced adherence to medication. Furthermore, according to the study, although many doctors believe that their patients adhere to their medications, many are reluctant to inform their physicians that they did not plan on buying the medicine or do not want to take it.

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