Last week I introduced the first in a three-part series of rules for enhancing the doctor-patient relationship: the rule of full disclosure.
For a quick recap â€“ the rule of full disclosure basically states that itâ€™s the patientâ€™s responsibility to provide honest and up-front information about the state of your health.
This week Iâ€™m writing about the second rule: the rule of follow through or compliance.
After youâ€™ve followed the rule of full disclosure your doctor will hopefully be able to prescribe some sort of treatment. When your doctor prescribes that treatment, it becomes your responsibility to follow through with that treatment. It may take a while to notice an improvement after starting a treatment such as prescription medication or pelvic floor exercises.
Did you know that it takes an estimated six to twelve weeks for most women to notice improved bladder control after starting a Kegel regimen? â€“ And thatâ€™s when you regularly and consistently follow the prescribed program. And depending on the specific medication, it may take several weeks up or even several months to notice a change when taking overactive bladder medications.
If you donâ€™t take the medication consistently, or donâ€™t do your exercises as often as instructed, you may not see the results that you desire, become frustrated, and give up. This is not the doctorâ€™s fault: after the doctor prescribes treatment, it is the patientâ€™s responsibility to follow through.
There are several reasons why patients might not comply with a physicianâ€™s instructions: the patient doesnâ€™t see the benefits to the proposed treatment options; the patient doesnâ€™t feel the side effects are worth the benefits; or the patient tries the treatment but feels it isnâ€™t â€śworkingâ€ť. These are all valid complaints, but it is important not to make a hasty or uninformed decision.
If you donâ€™t completely understand the benefits that are supposed to accompany a treatment, or if you feel that they are not the results that you desire, it is important that you speak with your physician for further clarification. If you donâ€™t feel that the results are worth the side effects or if you feel that the treatment isnâ€™t working, it is important that you try the treatment long enough to be sure that you are experiencing the full range of results â€“ your doctor should be able to clarify how long it might take to feel the full benefits of a particular treatment option.
Next week â€“ the thrilling conclusion of rules for the patient-doctor relationship!
Published On: February 05, 2007