How Doctors Can Address Suffering
While most physicians need training in how to respond to suffering, "this kind of training is painfully lacking," note the authors. To show how doctors can address suffering more effectively, the authors cite a story of a patient who went years without a diagnosis, despite pain and disability. Surgery and medical treatments were not enough. Only after her physicians became truly curious about her experience, listening to her, looking at her, and bearing witness, were they able to help the patient heal.
The article offers two clinical approaches to suffering to complement the familiar "diagnosing and treating." These are referred to as "turning toward" and "refocusing and reclaiming," and the authors suggest that doctors use these approaches routinely.
See Also: Web Tools Improve Patient Engagement
Turning toward suffering means to, first, recognise it. It requires physicians to ask patients about their experience of suffering, through questions such as "what's the worst part of this for you?" Sometimes doctors feel helpless in the face of suffering, and in those situations their own discomfort can be a useful wake-up call, the authors point out.
To refocus and reclaim involves helping patients reconnect with what is important and meaningful in their lives, especially when suffering and its underlying causes cannot be eliminated. Sometimes that requires physicians to be supportive of a patient's efforts to become more whole. In the story described, the patient separated from her spouse and re-established a professional identity. By making those changes she saw past her suffering and again viewed herself as a complete human being.
Asking physicians to engage as whole persons in order to address patients as whole persons "is a tall order," the authors write, "yet, it strikes us as more feasible than ever because of evidence that programmes promoting mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and self-regulation makes a difference."
Source: University of Rochester Medical Center
Image credit: Flickr.com
Published on : Tue, 22 Dec 2015
Print as PDF
XENIOS AG is a medical device company with the three brands, novalung, i-cor and medos, that run on a single XENIOS platform. This platform enables next-generation therapies for lung and heart failure. No other company except XENIOS AG is offering lung...
Always in sight, always in mind Features Mindray believes the best way to predict the future is to create it. The revolutionary BeneVision N22/N19 is designed to optimize user experience by satisfying all your clinical demands. With visionary-stimulating...
FeaturesSV 300 is a state-of-the-art ventilator that’s simple to configure, easy to operate and versatile in use. It equips with extensive ventilation modes that can treats pediatric and adult patients with all acuity levels at ICUs and Intermediate Care.With...
Features The SynoVent E5 is the ventilator you need with the interface you want. It does not only include advanced ventilator functionality for patients ranging from infant to adult, but also a modern, easy-to-use interface. The display can be configured...
The HAMILTON-C6 represents a new Generation of high-end ventilators. The combination of modularity, ease of use, mobility, and advanced features allows you to individualize your patient's ventilation therapy: - State-of-the-art ventilation modes for adult,...