Items in AFP with MESH term: Attitude of Health Personnel

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Breaking Bad News - Article

ABSTRACT: Breaking bad news is one of a physician's most difficult duties, yet medical education typically offers little formal preparation for this daunting task. Without proper training, the discomfort and uncertainty associated with breaking bad news may lead physicians to emotionally disengage from patients. Numerous study results show that patients generally desire frank and empathetic disclosure of a terminal diagnosis or other bad news. Focused training in communication skills and techniques to facilitate breaking bad news has been demonstrated to improve patient satisfaction and physician comfort. Physicians can build on the following simple mnemonic, ABCDE, to provide hope and healing to patients receiving bad news: Advance preparation--arrange adequate time and privacy, confirm medical facts, review relevant clinical data, and emotionally prepare for the encounter. Building a therapeutic relationship-identify patient preferences regarding the disclosure of bad news. Communicating well-determine the patient's knowledge and understanding of the situation, proceed at the patient's pace, avoid medical jargon or euphemisms, allow for silence and tears, and answer questions. Dealing with patient and family reactions-assess and respond to emotional reactions and empathize with the patient. Encouraging/validating emotions--offer realistic hope based on the patient's goals and deal with your own needs.


Common Problems in Patients Recovering from Chemical Dependency - Article

ABSTRACT: Chemical dependency is a common, chronic disease that affects up to 25 percent of patients seen in primary care practices. The treatment goal for patients recovering from chemical dependency should be to avoid relapse. This requires physicians to have an open, nonjudgmental attitude and specific expertise about the implications of addiction for other health problems. First-line treatment for chemical dependency should be nonpharmacologic, but when medication is necessary, physicians should avoid drugs that have the potential for abuse or addiction. Medications that sedate or otherwise impair judgment also should be avoided in the recovering patient. Psychiatric illnesses should be aggressively treated, because untreated symptoms increase the risk of relapse into chemical dependency. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may help to lower alcohol consumption in depressed patients, and desipramine may help to facilitate abstinence in persons addicted to cocaine. If insomnia extends beyond the acute or postacute withdrawal period, trazodone may be an effective treatment. If nonpharmacologic management of pain is not possible, nonaddictive medications should be used. However, if non-addictive medications fail, long-acting opiates used under strict supervision may be considered. Uncontrolled pain in itself is a relapse risk.


Cross-Cultural Medicine - Article

ABSTRACT: Cultural competency is an essential skill for family physicians because of increasing ethnic diversity among patient populations. Culture, the shared beliefs and attitudes of a group, shapes ideas of what constitutes illness and acceptable treatment. A cross-cultural interview should elicit the patient's perception of the illness and any alternative therapies he or she is undergoing as well as facilitate a mutually acceptable treatment plan. Patients should understand instructions from their physicians and be able to repeat them in their own words. To protect the patient's confidentiality, it is best to avoid using the patient's family and friends as interpreters. Potential cultural conflicts between a physician and patient include differing attitudes towards time, personal space, eye contact, body language, and even what is important in life. Latino, Asian, and black healing traditions are rich and culturally meaningful but can affect management of chronic medical and psychiatric conditions. Efforts directed toward instituting more culturally relevant health care enrich the physician-patient relationship and improve patient rapport, adherence, and outcomes.


Canning Season - Close-ups


The Challenge of Unexplained Symptoms - Close-ups


A Morally Reprehensible Patient - Curbside Consultation


Influenza Vaccine: Got It, Give It! - Editorials


Doctor-Patient Duet - Close-ups


How Does Your Practice Sound on the Phone? - Feature


What Lies Ahead for Family Physicians? - Feature


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