Thursday 14 December 2017

Tell GP all your health concerns

Picture posed.
Picture posed.

We know how busy our GPs are but a simple question from the doctor at the end of a consultation asking the patient if they have any other health concerns can be very beneficial.

An analysis of consultations at GP surgeries found on average patients raised two concerns per visit, a conference by the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin was told.

Elisabeth Gennery of the Primary Care and Population Sciences unit at the University of Southampton, said that often a doctor's opening question only generated one issue and that may be the only opportunity for the patient to raise concerns.

"The problem is that generally a patient's first concern might not be the most important or even most serious health concern. So additional concerns don't come up until later in the consultation or they are not raised at all.

"This can lead to a worsening of patient symptoms, increased patient anxiety and the need for additional GP visits, which are very costly."

The study found that in just over half of consultations, the question about any other matters from the GP led to the patients raising additional concerns with their GP.

It's always good for a patient to make some notes of things you want to discuss or that you should remember to tell your doctor, such as about medicines you use. Take those notes with you.

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