Recognizing & Interpreting Symptoms
is useful also when discussing what prompts people to seek health
services. In order for someone to seek health services, they must
first recognize symptoms - any unusual
sensations in or features in the body. For the most part people
seek health services only when they believe that they have symptoms.
We use schemas (our own theories) to recognize and interpret
symptoms. Health psychologists have observed that peoples
reactions to illnesses are usually different when they face an
illness that they think is chronic (long-term and constant) versus
acute (brief, sudden and not of a long duration). People are more
likely to seek medical help if they think they know what their
illness is and that it is treatable.
Once people have recognized that
they have symptoms - the next step that they must take is to decide
whether or not they will seek medical attention. There are certain
interactions that go on between Medical Practitioners and Patients.
Patient Styles: Researchers have found that
patients are more satisfied with their treatment if they are able
to participate in the treatment in order to meet their own preferences.
These preferences include 1) a preference for
information, 2) a preference for self-care, and
3) a preference for involvement in the health care. People
vary in how much they need of each of these - information, a feeling
of self-sufficiency and involvement with their health care provider.
Physician Styles: Physicians also have preferences
for their involvement with their patients. There exist two different
styles of physicians. A doctor-centred style involves a direct
interaction where the physician focuses on the medical problem;
uses questioning in order to get quick and specific responses
form the patient and then formulates a plan of action which they
relate to the patient. If the patient seems to go off on a different
tangent than the focused questioning that the physician is giving
them - the physician generally tends to ignore them. A patient-centred
style is characterized by a relatively non-direct manner on the
part of the doctor, and allows the patient time to answer and
guide he conversation themselves. AS well, the patient is allowed
to take part in the diagnosis and choice of treatment option.
They were less likely to use medical jargon than doctor-centred
styles, and it has been seen that the use of medical jargon can
greatly impede communication.
Healing & Pain