Friends Don't Let Friends Go To The Doctor Alone
I hadn’t planned to post today, but after I came across Bring Friend To The Hospital, a 9 Sept 2008 Chicago Tribune article by Susan Kutchin Pallant, I found it so resonant with my own experience that I felt compelled to point others to it. In addition, the linkage to patient compliance is apparent.
The following excerpts indicate the focus of the piece, but the entire article is worth reading:
A study exploring the efficacy of companions and the elderly in medical settings, published this summer in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that companions are actively engaged in the care process and add to patients’ satisfaction with their care. A growing number of companies offer professional patient advocacy services that are designed to assist patients with everything from deciphering a bill to ensuring that a patient is properly taking a prescribed medication.
The elderly aren’t the only ones who might benefit from a partner in health care. Whether a patient hires a professional advocate or relies on a relative or friend to help navigate our complex medical arena, the evidence that supports having a partner is building.
Patients can get anxious, making it difficult to understand and remember medical details. In one study, Roy C. Kessels, professor of neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology at Radboud University in the Netherlands, found that patients immediately forget 40 percent to 80 percent of medical information provided by health-care practitioners.”Close relatives aren’t always the optimal choice, but support of any kind can be valuable,” said Wilkos-Prostran.
… A study published this year in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons showed that patients with a large support network of family and friends report feeling less pain and anxiety before surgery. Wilkos-Prostran added, “Hospitalized patients who have visitors also recover much faster than those who are left alone.”
The complete article is online at Bring Friend To The Hospital