Doctor-Patient communication

Abstract

The Doctor-Patient relationship is of fundamental importance in the field of care and continues to undergo profound transformations. In ancient times the doctor was “authoritarian”: the patient was considered a passive element, incapable of understanding, knowing and acting for his own health. The doctor then became a “paternalistic” figure and it is only recently that the patient has become a responsible subject who interacts with the doctor in the definition and evaluation of every health intervention. The patient needs to be actively involved and informed, participating in the therapeutic process and in monitoring the positive and negative effects of the treatment. The doctor needs to communicate in a way that is simple and appropriate in order to avoid misunderstandings, which are very common as patients and doctors can often attribute different meanings to certain words. Doctors need to be aware that such a possibility exists and verify that the patient has understood the real meaning of his words. As good communication between doctors and patients is a strategic factor in care, communication courses should be included in any Medical Degree course.

 

Keywords: communication, doctor, humanisation, patient

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Introduzione

Il rapporto medico-paziente è un libro aperto, un “work in progress”, che nel corso dei secoli ha subito e continua a subire profonde trasformazioni in relazione e parallelamente a quelle della vita sociale.

Sulla problematicità del rapporto comunicativo tra medico e paziente tanto è già stato scritto: molta attenzione è stata dedicata all’argomento sia dai clinici, sia dagli psicologi, sia dai sociologi, ma solo negli ultimi anni il problema è stato affrontato con il metodo della ricerca scientifica.

In questa sede si vuole brevemente porre in evidenza le molteplici caratteristiche di questo rapporto, che è alla base della vita di quasi tutti i cittadini. 

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Relationships between Medicine and Spirituality

Abstract

This review aims at analysing the links between medicine and spirituality, two seemingly distant concepts. Medicine at its beginnings was imbued with rituals that invoked the intervention of supernatural powers, as man were unable to treat diseases and struggled to bear the suffering caused by them and the fragility of their own bodies. Today, in the post-genomic era, medicine has gained great benefits from new and extraordinary scientific and technological achievements, permitting sophisticated therapeutic and diagnostic approaches, which assure cures not previously possible. Even considering these great accomplishments in medicine and technology, it should be borne in mind that diseases not only induce bodily changes in sufferers, but also affect their emotional state and social interactions. Illness, especially when serious and in presence of a poor prognosis, raises profound questions around the meaning of life, affections, suffering and death. In the last few decades scientists, doctors, theologians, psychologists and others, in considering these questions, have emphasized the importance of spirituality as a relevant factor in the care of the sick and their illnesses.

Drawing from some thoughts expressed in the book, “When the Breath Becomes Air,” authored by the physician Paul Kalanithi, we claim that spirituality should be perceived as an important contributing factor in the therapeutic path. Our aim is to deepen the meaning of spirituality, differentiating it from religion, faith and mysticism, and to understand how it should be integrated with post-genomic medicine to enhance its positive aspects and effects.

Keywords: Spirituality, Medicine, communication, patients, physicians

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Introduzione

Nel libro “Quando il respiro si fa aria” il medico Paul Kalanithi, un neurochirurgo morto all’età di 37 anni per un tumore incurabile ai polmoni, narrando la sua esperienza di medico e paziente, tratta del rapporto che l’essere umano ha con la malattia e la sofferenza (1). Come medico era stato sempre sensibile al dolore dei pazienti e dei loro cari ed esplicitamente dichiarava che “l’eccellenza tecnica non è abbastanza”. 

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Talking about medicine through mass media

Abstract

The ability to communicate is central to all professional activities and therefore being able to communicate effectively with mass media is essential. The medical doctor often needs to communicate not with a single patient or with a group of family members, but with “an important number of patients” through a microphone, a newspaper, a radio or a television. In this case it is not necessary to provide specific information on a single clinical case, but to provide simple, general information on a single pathology or a group of diseases to an interviewer or journalist, who will probably elaborate it at his own discretion making it usable to a diverse and unspecified audience. It is therefore important to be relevant to the question, clear in the presentation, but also synthetic to respect the time limits of interview.

KEY WORDS: communication, medicine, mass media, patients

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

INTRODUZIONE

Comunicare in modo efficace rappresenta il primo obiettivo di qualsiasi individuo, Azienda o Società, pena l’esclusione da tutte le relazioni ed i processi del mondo circostante (1). 

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