Do you make it a point to be highly involved in your medical treatment and make a lot of the choices about the drug and lifestyle changes you need? Here’s a counterintuitive finding. Patients who do so actually fare less well with chronic health problems than patients who defer to their doctors.
University of Iowa researchers tracked 189 veterans with high blood pressure over a 12-month period. They found that those patients who were more active in their approach had higher blood pressure and cholesterol in the year of study than those who deferred to their doctor’s authority.
The theory is that patients who sought a more active role in their treatment may have been less satisfied with the drug regime their doctors prescribed and were less inclined to follow it diligently. The upshot is the more doctors understand and work with their patient’s preferences, the better the chance of success – so communication is the key.