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Thyroid UK
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Do patients’ disruptive behaviours influence the accuracy of a doctor's diagnosis? A randomised experiment

The squeaky wheel tends to get the oil but difficult patients may end up with the wrong diagnosis.



6 Replies

I did see this in Pulse and am afraid that my thoughts were 'define bad behaviour'.

We can see that the words 'disruptive', 'difficult', 'distressing' were used. To my (used to be) fluffy little head those three words all have different meanings.

To summarise then it's the medics version of the Daily Wail.


C-G, The study didn't define 'disruptive'. There is some discussion of what may cause disruptive behaviour in the Pulse comments section and acknowledgment that illness and medication are often the cause. The one comment saying difficult patients should be got rid of got very short shrift.


The Daily Wail covered this a couple of days ago ;) Anyway it wasn't experienced practitioners so not really a fair experiment!


How interesting that the tired overworked GP's need to reduce their stress levels in order to improve their diagnostic skills with difficult patients. There seems to be no comprehension of the difficulties caused to the patients by the gps incorrect diagnosis and the stress and damage caused to the patients. Another example of the medical profession focusing inwards rather than looking outwards and trying to understand what consumers (patients) need to improve health and quality of life.

I cannot help but feel that there is no money to fund patient research as there would be no financial gain for the medics. As a worker in the NHS I cannot be anything other than a cynic.


Cjrsquared, it was a Dutch study, not funded by NHS, and the subjects were doctors nearing the end of their training so unlikely to be burnt out and jaded. I imagine there is some value in the research if it enables training to improve doctors resilience in coping with difficult patients.

I agree it is extremely stressful when patients either don't get a diagnosis or get an inaccurate diagnosis but that wasn't the focus of the study.


Sorry I didn't read the full research I should have done before I commented. There are courses for established gp's on how to deal with the difficult patient, the focus is entirely on the GP not on the patient, the idea is to get the patient to voluntarily to move practice therefore removing the problem turning it into someone else's. I think I am just jaded at present.