Guidelines to help patients find stress relief
In Part 1, I described the problem of non-adherence: 50% of patients do not follow doctors’ advice. I suggested stress, the daily energy drains that limit what patients can do, create a logjam.
The solution: Seek guidance to tap into own creativity, ingenuity and intuition to deal with stress before loading up on medical advice.
Let’s switch over to your visit to the doctor’s office.
Ask your doctor 6 questions to help you manage stress --- before accepting a prescription
1. Will you encourage me to identify energy drains? Doctor, the stress I’m under may be related to what you think is my health issue.
2. Will you encourage me to identify strategies I’ve used to deal with this stressor?
3. Will you encourage me to explore what’s really bugging me.
4. Will you encourage me to set realistic goals? [A healthcare provider can help the patient set a realistic goal that she feels comfortable in achieving.]
5. Understand that I may, or may not, act on the goal. Will you respect my choices? [A healthcare provider can encourage the patient to see each choice as an opportunity to learn, never a “failure.”]
6. Will you follow up this meeting? Healthcare providers can offer support, helping the patient recall every victory, and helping lifestyle changes stick.
How did you feel after talking with a physician or with a staff member about your health issue? Did you have time to get your needs met? How do you think doctor-patient interactions can become a healing partnership?
“Insight-motivated Learning: A Model to Improve Stress Management and Adherence in Chronic Health Conditions.” Robert A. Ronzio and Patricia A. Ronzio, Austin, TX. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal 2012, volume 11, pages 22-28.