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
17 critical parameters from a blood sample as small as 45 µL Not available in the US When the sample is small but your diagnostic needs are big, the ABL90 FLEX PLUS blood gas analyzer provides critical insights with a turnaround time of less than...
The iLA Membrane Ventilator is an extrapulmonary ventilation system which is used primarily to remove carbon dioxide. The heart pumps blood through it as it does through a natural organ. The gas exchange takes place via a plasma-tight, heparin-coated...
The HAMILTON-T1 combines for the first time the functionality of a fully featured intensive care unit ventilator with the compactness and ruggedness required for transport. This is why the HAMILTON-T1 enables you to provide optimal ventilation therapy...
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...
FeaturesMindray BeneVision Central Monitoring System is a powerful and scalable solution providing for continuous, real-time surveillance across networks large and small. The system can display patient information from networked monitors, wireless transport...