CREATING INFORMATION SEEKING BEHAVIOR IN OUR PATIENTS: USING AVAILABLE
An article in point appears in the June edition of Archives of Family
Nathan, RG, Bont GM, Minz, RB. Patient interest in receiving audio tapes of
information presented by their patients. ARCH FAM MED, 1994;3:509-513
This article covers both patient interest and patient compliance, both
major treatment issues.
This article supports the notion of having physicians prepare recordings of
their explanations and recommendations on key areas of clinical concern and
offer them (tapes) to their patients. "Among the many powerful factors
affecting compliance, patient comprehension and recall of instructions are
fundamental and necessary conditions. Collaboration and adherence simply
cannot occur unless the patient understands and remembers what is
discussed. An encounter with a physician, however, often provokes fear and
tension in patients. This anxiety, associated with both the presenting
illness or pain and presence of a powerful individual of higher status, can
interfere with a patient's processing of information."
The article covers a lot of territory but concludes..."The use of audiotape
recordings could potentially reduce the amount of misunderstood or
forgotten information, decrease the number of calls received from patients,
increase collaboration compliance, eliminate some malpractice suits,
solicit greater family involvement in health care, and improve health
outcomes. This would heighten patient satisfaction and enhance medical
care, while potentially decreasing costs. Given the interest expressed by
patients and their willingness to pay for the service, studies should be
conducted that survey physician's interest in taping the information they
provide and evaluate the actual impact of doing so in medical care.
This type of approach will someday, no doubt, be extended from audio tapes
to include patient education-audio-visual materials on basic clinical
issues of practice that can be place in a VCR at the patient's home. There
can be different subject matter tapes with the doctor sitting at his desk,
talking about epilepsy, myocardial infarction, stroke, and other issues
common to the physician's practice. This is part of a PRACTICAL
BIOBEHAVIORAL STRATEGY TO HELP BOTH DOCTOR AND PATIENT.