You are hereTime for a check up on your medical checkups!

Time for a check up on your medical checkups!


By harrisjensen - Posted on 19 January 2009

Are you happy with your medication?  Your mood?  Your doctor?  Your medical care?

New survey helps patients give feedback to their doctor on how they feel about their medical care...

Mood Swings can break through medicines because of poor communication between doctors and patients...don't let it happen to you!  Updated 4/24/09

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

Isn't getting mood swings under control just about taking your medicine as directed?  Not so fast, say researchers from Europe.  Certain attitudes can contaminate a good doctor patient relationship and lead to patients changing medication on their own, or lead doctors to not "catching" how patients might be misunderstanding what is talked about in visits to a doctor's office.

In "Attitudes and beliefs among patients treated with mood stabilizers,"  Lars Kessing and associates showed that many people, like the general public, have misconceptions about medicines and bipolar disorder, and this leads to poor communication with the doctor, and mood swings breaking through medine. Their research was published in Clinical Practice and Epidemiology In Mental Health, May 19, 2006.

About 10 percent of people have depression and 2-4 percent have bipolar disorder in the United States.  Annually, mood problems result in billions of dollars lost in wages because people miss work or get fired because they are so depressed they literally don't have the energy to get to work and work effectively.

World wide, depression and bipolar disorder and one of the top causes of disability in developed countries.

Dr. Kessing and colleagues created their "attitude" survey to see how well doctors and patients were talking with each other.  What they found is that just because people became "patients" didn't mean they suddenly understood about the biology of mood problems and felt comfortable telling their doctor about all their thoughts and feelings!

Many patients felt the doctor did a good job listening.  But patients often held on to old victorian era beliefs from the 1800's that depression or manic mood swings were just emotional problems, or were part of the person's personality, and so medication wasn't really "needed," in the long run.  Some believed that taking medication was evidence there was something wrong with their personality, when mood problems are simply a reflection of a medical problem in the brain.

The survey was a quick sweep over the major areas doctors and patients need to be communicating well on, so I will include it at the end of this article.  Also, I include it as a pdf file below, as a file attachment, so that readers can download it and use it if they wish, as an aid in checking up on how well they are communicating with their doctor.

(PS--As a psychiatrist, I have included this form for the past several months in my new patient packet, and found it very useful.  Quite often, it has spurred discussion on topics a patient was wondering about, it was just hard for him or her to find the words to describe it.  In one case, a patient said, "I thought my mood was just me, you know.  My personality.  If I felt better on a medication then good for me, but I could also get off it and see if it was really needed.  I mean it was my personality getting better, not some medical condition.  But when I did that a couple years ago, it was tragedy.  My depression came back like a freight train.  I got angry and ended up losiing my job.  Now I know better than to experiment with my medicine.  The survey helped me put things in better perspective with my doctor."

My thanks to the creators of the survey!)

To look at the article that studied the survey, click the link Checkup on medical checkups.

Thank you for taking an interest in improving your medical care!  Nothing like science to help us all do a better job communicating!

 

Mood Stabilizer Compliance Questionaire With Addendums
Date: _____ _____ _____ Name: _______________ _______________
from Lars Kessing, et. al.,”Attitudes and beliefs among patients treated with mood stabilizers,” Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 2006, 2:8 (May 19).
Answer questions below with: mostly disagree (1), rather disagree (2), rather agree (3), mostly agree (4)
1. As long as you are taking mood stabilizers you do not really know if they are actually necessary _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
2. My doctor listens properly to what I think about mood stabilizers _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
3. When you have taken mood stabilizers over a long period of time it is difficult to stop taking them _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
4. With mood stabilizers my depressions and/or manic episodes disappear _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
5. My doctor has made me feel confident that mood stabilizers are the suitable treatment for me _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
6. When you take mood stabilizers you have less control over your thoughts and feelings _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
7. My doctor takes sufficient time to listen to my problems _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
8. You may take fewer tablets than prescribed on days when you feel better _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
9. Mood stabilizers can alter your personality _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
10. My partner agrees that mood stabilizers are a suitable treatment for my condition _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
11. Mood stabilizers correct the changes that occurred in my brain due to stress or problems _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
12. My doctor has explained the causes of my disorder sufficiently _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
13. Your body can become addicted to mood stabilizers _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
14. Mydoctor takes sufficient time to discuss my emotional problems _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
15. My doctor has explained depression and mania sufficiently to me _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
16. My doctor shows sufficient consideration for my views and feelings about his treatment with mood stabilizers _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
17. Mood stabilizers help me to worry less about my problems _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
18. My partner agrees that depresive disorder or bipolar disorder is the correct diagnosis of my condition _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
19. I receive sufficient psychological support and encouragement from my doctor _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
20. My doctor fully understands my condition _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
21. My doctor strongly emphasises that it is important to take the mood stabilizers regularly _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
22. My doctor is really interested in my problems _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
23. If you forget to take the mood stabilizer on a certain day, it is better to take an additional dose the following day _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
24. Your body can become immune to mood stabilizers _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
25. My doctor listens properly when I tell him what it is like to be depressed _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
26. You may take more tablets than prescribedf on days when you feel more depressed _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
27. My doctor understands my feelings and thoughts in depression and mania perfectly _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
28. My doctor has explained properly about mood stabilizers, their action and side effects _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
29. My doctor listens properly to what I consider to be the causes of my depression and or manias _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
30. Skipping a day now and again prevents your body from becoming immune to the mood stabilizers _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
31. I think my depression and or manic episodes are mainly due to factors associated with my personality _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
32. My emotional problems are solved by the mood stabilizers _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________
33. Mood stabilizers make me stronger so I will be able to deal more efficiently with my problems _____
Please explain:________________________________________________________

Notes for additional information on above answers: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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Moodmedicinesurvey.pdf23.13 KB