Women’s Health: Why do women feel unheard?
Health and Social Care Services Research
The recent Women’s Health Strategy for England reported that more than 4 in 5 (84%) women responding to their survey had at times felt that their healthcare professionals were not listening to them. The finding was echoed by recent focus groups. We need to understand why this happens. Why don’t women feel listened to? What can be done to improve their conversations with healthcare professionals?
Meaningful conversations between patients and doctors are fundamental to shared decision-making, a central part of good NHS care. People should feel listened to. They need information to make a decision, and time and support to understand it. However, we know this does not always happen.
Healthcare professionals are time poor, and are often unable to spend as long as they would like with each patient. The time they do have therefore needs to be used well. Research can provide insight into how to have good conversations with patients.