New Survey: Doctor-patient Communication

A new survey conducted online this past November suggests that doctors and patients need to communicate more.  No surprise there.  But how?

Doctor-Patient Communication

1218 diagnosed migraine patients taking prescription medication participated in the study.  533 doctors also participated, doctors who treat 5-10 migraineurs each week.

One of the interesting things the survey shows is that doctors and patients are not always focused on the same things (no surprise) – in fact, maybe they could be more focused in general.  Most of the time migrainuers are coming to see their doctors with health concerns other than migraine – and then they end up talking about migraine too.  Could it be that this leads to less focus on the important issues?

For example, what are some of the key things talked about?  Doctors say:

  • the frequency of migraine attacks
  • the timing of when patients take medication(s)
  • personal migraine triggers
  • the proper use of over-the-counter medications

A majority of doctors reported having these discussions.  But a minority of patients said they talked about these things with their doctors!

How could communication be better?  Both doctors and patients have some suggestions:

  • Many patients and doctors wanted to have more discussion about the patient’s satisfaction with prescription medications.
  • Doctors and patients were concerned that more pressing health issues were interfering with the migraine conversation.  Sounds like it’s time to schedule regular appointments to talk primarily about migraine!
  • Doctors were frustrated by how often their patients couldn’t give a clear picture of how bad/frequent migraine attacks were, or how well medications were working.  Sounds like it’s time for a migraine diary to me…

We’ve talked about many of these issues before.  If you’re a patient, don’t miss the HeadWay article How to talk to your doctor.  If you’re a doctor, take the time to read How to be a better Headache or Migraine Doctor.

Read more details of this survey at New Survey Finds Gap in Doctor-Patient Migraine Communication and Communication Gap Between Migraine Doctors & Patients

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