Patients: Doctors do not provide sufficient information

Patients: Doctors do not provide sufficient information



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Patients in Germany do not feel adequately informed
21.06.2014

Over half of the patients in Germany want their doctor to involve them in the choice between different therapy options. However, 58 percent of them have never been given this opportunity. Almost all patients want more information.

58 percent of patients have never had an alternative The majority of patients in Germany do not want to leave it up to the doctor alone to decide which therapy is right for them. However, this wish often remains unfulfilled. Although 55 percent of patients want to be included in the choice between different therapy options, 58 percent have never been given alternatives by their doctor. This is the result of a survey of almost 12,800 patients as part of the current health monitor of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Barmer GEK.

Almost everyone wants detailed information. The survey also showed that "95 percent of people want detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of therapy". However, 16 percent of the patients felt at the family doctor and even "24 percent of the specialist patients felt insufficiently informed on this point". 15 percent and 23 percent respectively complained that their GP or specialist would not mention existing therapy options. And of the chronically ill, half of those affected complain that the doctor has not discussed any treatment options with them, and that although there is no therapeutic solution for many chronic diseases.

Patients should actively approach doctors “Doctors should identify possible treatment options on their own initiative. We also recommend that patients actively approach doctors if they are unsure about the type of treatment and need further advice, ”said Dr. Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker, deputy chairman of the board of BARMER GEK. By showing alternative therapies, communication between doctor and patient is strengthened. This could have a positive effect on the success of treatment. Brigitte Mohn, board member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, also called for the potential of partnership-based decision-making between doctor and patient to be exploited: "For these positive developments, however, the patient's involvement must be long-term."

Improved communication between doctor and patient In addition, studies would prove that the argument often made by doctors that there is no time for more communication with patients is unsustainable. "In order for the inclusion to be possible on a regular basis, the processes in doctor-patient communication must change," says Mohn. The new electronic health card (eGK) should also help improve communication between doctor and patient. However, only recently the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) criticized that such plans had fallen by the wayside. There is even talk of the "billion dollar grave electronic health card". (ad)

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