Wednesday, November 9, 2011

“Difficult” Patients Stay Sick

"Difficult" patients are characterized as having lots of unexplained physical symptoms, lots of stress, or extremes of pain and discomfort, or they may be struggling with anxiety and depression disorders.

How did being perceived as difficult affect the patients? They
were 2.4 times more likely to have worse symptoms two weeks
after their visit and to report that their expectations weren't met.

Not all this so-called difficulty rests with the patient, however. The researchers also found that physicians with fewer than 10 years of experience reported that almost one in four patient visits were difficult, while those with 20 or more years of experience ranked the number as just two percent.

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