Only one in seven United States adults said they would disagree with their doctor during discussions on medical treatment, according to a survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. This widespread hesitation could lead to major problems, as some people who do not feel satisfied with the prescribed treatment avoid following the appropriate steps necessary to address their medical issues.
Findings of the study were based on an online panel of 1,340 adults who were instructed to imagine they were afflicted with heart disease, then asked how they wanted to be involved in the treatment process.
While nearly 70 percent of those surveyed indicated a preference for making medical decisions with their doctors, a sense of reluctance bordering on fear prevented the majority of respondents from doing so. Reasoning for their hesitation included the belief that contradicting a doctor is socially unacceptable, that it would damage their relationship with the doctor and that they would be labeled a “bad patient.”
Speaking up can make a world of difference in how readily medical advice is received, and followed, by patients. Not doing so can have serious consequences ranging from longer recovery time to life threatening circumstances. Rather than hurting your relationship with your doctor, speaking up will likely strengthen the bonds of communication and trust you share.
Are you afraid to let your doctor know when you are uncomfortable with your prescribed treatment? If so, why are you hesitant? If you boldly proclaim your discomfort, how do you go about doing so?