Do words actually carry a big impact?

Use this forum to discuss the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W. Forgey
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Sushan
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Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

This topic is about the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W Forgey

Watch your spoken and body language. Reassure without patronizing, and let nothing that you say or do cause him increased distress.
(Location 944 - Kindle version)

The author says to be careful about what you say when you manage a patient, despite his/her actual condition. Causing panic in the patient can be a disadvantage, I agree, but at the same time I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.

What do you think? Should we keep the patient blind just to avoid him/her getting panicked, or should we reveal the truth no matter how hard it is? Do words have an actual impact on the outcome of the patient?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by LuckyR »

Sushan wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:02 am This topic is about the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W Forgey

Watch your spoken and body language. Reassure without patronizing, and let nothing that you say or do cause him increased distress.
(Location 944 - Kindle version)

The author says to be careful about what you say when you manage a patient, despite his/her actual condition. Causing panic in the patient can be a disadvantage, I agree, but at the same time I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.

What do you think? Should we keep the patient blind just to avoid him/her getting panicked, or should we reveal the truth no matter how hard it is? Do words have an actual impact on the outcome of the patient?
There is absolutely no doubt that unlike the physical sciences, the practice of medicine is an art. You are referring to a significant portion of that art. The most obvious proof of this is the placebo effect.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 2:36 pm
Sushan wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:02 am This topic is about the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W Forgey

Watch your spoken and body language. Reassure without patronizing, and let nothing that you say or do cause him increased distress.
(Location 944 - Kindle version)

The author says to be careful about what you say when you manage a patient, despite his/her actual condition. Causing panic in the patient can be a disadvantage, I agree, but at the same time I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.

What do you think? Should we keep the patient blind just to avoid him/her getting panicked, or should we reveal the truth no matter how hard it is? Do words have an actual impact on the outcome of the patient?
There is absolutely no doubt that unlike the physical sciences, the practice of medicine is an art. You are referring to a significant portion of that art. The most obvious proof of this is the placebo effect.
Placebo effect depends on the beliefs of the patients. When patients trust their care givers and the medicine that they get, there is a tendency for them to get better even with an irrelevant treatment. But that is not a certain thing, and also cannot be proven objectively, though we consider that when we conduct researches. So if one is trying to go in that pathway calming and soothing words will have an impact as they will build faith in the patient.

But those words has to be reasonable, and it is better if they can be honest as well. A patient with a heavily bleeding massive injury will know that he is in a dangerous situation. Trying to calm down such a patient with words may lead him to think that he is going to die, and that is why the caregiver is trying to sooth him, and that may even panic him.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by LuckyR »

Sushan wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:44 am
LuckyR wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 2:36 pm
Sushan wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:02 am This topic is about the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W Forgey

Watch your spoken and body language. Reassure without patronizing, and let nothing that you say or do cause him increased distress.
(Location 944 - Kindle version)

The author says to be careful about what you say when you manage a patient, despite his/her actual condition. Causing panic in the patient can be a disadvantage, I agree, but at the same time I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.

What do you think? Should we keep the patient blind just to avoid him/her getting panicked, or should we reveal the truth no matter how hard it is? Do words have an actual impact on the outcome of the patient?
There is absolutely no doubt that unlike the physical sciences, the practice of medicine is an art. You are referring to a significant portion of that art. The most obvious proof of this is the placebo effect.
Placebo effect depends on the beliefs of the patients. When patients trust their care givers and the medicine that they get, there is a tendency for them to get better even with an irrelevant treatment. But that is not a certain thing, and also cannot be proven objectively, though we consider that when we conduct researches. So if one is trying to go in that pathway calming and soothing words will have an impact as they will build faith in the patient.

But those words has to be reasonable, and it is better if they can be honest as well. A patient with a heavily bleeding massive injury will know that he is in a dangerous situation. Trying to calm down such a patient with words may lead him to think that he is going to die, and that is why the caregiver is trying to sooth him, and that may even panic him.
Several things:

First the placebo effect is real and been demonstrated objectively in research studies. Second, the placebo effect can even be documented when the patient is told they are receiving a sugar pill.

More to the actual point, communicating with patients, I agree with you that the effects of communication styles is small, thus they are less of an effect when the medical situation is serious and large when the patient is healthy. Obviously the latter situation is much more frequent than the former.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: October 10th, 2021, 4:53 pm
Sushan wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:44 am
LuckyR wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 2:36 pm
Sushan wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:02 am This topic is about the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W Forgey


(Location 944 - Kindle version)

The author says to be careful about what you say when you manage a patient, despite his/her actual condition. Causing panic in the patient can be a disadvantage, I agree, but at the same time I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.

What do you think? Should we keep the patient blind just to avoid him/her getting panicked, or should we reveal the truth no matter how hard it is? Do words have an actual impact on the outcome of the patient?
There is absolutely no doubt that unlike the physical sciences, the practice of medicine is an art. You are referring to a significant portion of that art. The most obvious proof of this is the placebo effect.
Placebo effect depends on the beliefs of the patients. When patients trust their care givers and the medicine that they get, there is a tendency for them to get better even with an irrelevant treatment. But that is not a certain thing, and also cannot be proven objectively, though we consider that when we conduct researches. So if one is trying to go in that pathway calming and soothing words will have an impact as they will build faith in the patient.

But those words has to be reasonable, and it is better if they can be honest as well. A patient with a heavily bleeding massive injury will know that he is in a dangerous situation. Trying to calm down such a patient with words may lead him to think that he is going to die, and that is why the caregiver is trying to sooth him, and that may even panic him.
Several things:

First the placebo effect is real and been demonstrated objectively in research studies. Second, the placebo effect can even be documented when the patient is told they are receiving a sugar pill.

More to the actual point, communicating with patients, I agree with you that the effects of communication styles is small, thus they are less of an effect when the medical situation is serious and large when the patient is healthy. Obviously the latter situation is much more frequent than the former.
Presence of placebo effect is real. But I do not think of it as a measurable or predictable thing. People are different from each other, so is the placebo effect since that has lot to do with the mental component.

I am not saying that communication is less effective. Medical personnel are tested for their polite conversing ability with patients for a reason. A patient must be felt reassured when a medical professional is caring for him. But I think that conversation should only contain the truth, and revealing that truth with the least negative effect to the patient is the real skill that any medical professional should develop.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by LuckyR »

Sushan wrote: October 14th, 2021, 7:54 pm
LuckyR wrote: October 10th, 2021, 4:53 pm
Sushan wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:44 am
LuckyR wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 2:36 pm

There is absolutely no doubt that unlike the physical sciences, the practice of medicine is an art. You are referring to a significant portion of that art. The most obvious proof of this is the placebo effect.
Placebo effect depends on the beliefs of the patients. When patients trust their care givers and the medicine that they get, there is a tendency for them to get better even with an irrelevant treatment. But that is not a certain thing, and also cannot be proven objectively, though we consider that when we conduct researches. So if one is trying to go in that pathway calming and soothing words will have an impact as they will build faith in the patient.

But those words has to be reasonable, and it is better if they can be honest as well. A patient with a heavily bleeding massive injury will know that he is in a dangerous situation. Trying to calm down such a patient with words may lead him to think that he is going to die, and that is why the caregiver is trying to sooth him, and that may even panic him.
Several things:

First the placebo effect is real and been demonstrated objectively in research studies. Second, the placebo effect can even be documented when the patient is told they are receiving a sugar pill.

More to the actual point, communicating with patients, I agree with you that the effects of communication styles is small, thus they are less of an effect when the medical situation is serious and large when the patient is healthy. Obviously the latter situation is much more frequent than the former.
Presence of placebo effect is real. But I do not think of it as a measurable or predictable thing. People are different from each other, so is the placebo effect since that has lot to do with the mental component.

I am not saying that communication is less effective. Medical personnel are tested for their polite conversing ability with patients for a reason. A patient must be felt reassured when a medical professional is caring for him. But I think that conversation should only contain the truth, and revealing that truth with the least negative effect to the patient is the real skill that any medical professional should develop.
Well we are in agreement that one should never lie to a patient. Though an experienced clinician can easily deliver two truthful yet entirely opposite sounding summaries of identical information.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Belindi »

Communications between a medic and a patient is a topic in the headlines in the guise of the effectiveness or otherwise of telephone conversations with the GP as opposed to face to face conversations. Each party has to be pretty good at explicit language, besides reassurance.

Telephone conversations need special skills on the parts of both medic and the patient. While requests for repeat prescriptions are feasible over the phone, unusual or more complex problems are not suited to telephone appointments. Unfortunately GPs are too overloaded to see all patients in the body.

The placebo effect is true. However the placebo effect is not to be confused with the platitudes effect.
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by LuckyR »

Belindi wrote: October 15th, 2021, 5:16 am Communications between a medic and a patient is a topic in the headlines in the guise of the effectiveness or otherwise of telephone conversations with the GP as opposed to face to face conversations. Each party has to be pretty good at explicit language, besides reassurance.

Telephone conversations need special skills on the parts of both medic and the patient. While requests for repeat prescriptions are feasible over the phone, unusual or more complex problems are not suited to telephone appointments. Unfortunately GPs are too overloaded to see all patients in the body.

The placebo effect is true. However the placebo effect is not to be confused with the platitudes effect.
Two side issues to be aware of to address that topic accurately: first in the US you can bill a video visit the same as an in person visit, but a phone visit can't be. Second the whole point economically to virtual appointments is not having to pay ancillary staff and for office supplies for in office appointments. Obviously patients like the convenience and not paying a co-pay nor for childcare.
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Belindi »

LuckyR wrote: October 15th, 2021, 11:44 am
Belindi wrote: October 15th, 2021, 5:16 am Communications between a medic and a patient is a topic in the headlines in the guise of the effectiveness or otherwise of telephone conversations with the GP as opposed to face to face conversations. Each party has to be pretty good at explicit language, besides reassurance.

Telephone conversations need special skills on the parts of both medic and the patient. While requests for repeat prescriptions are feasible over the phone, unusual or more complex problems are not suited to telephone appointments. Unfortunately GPs are too overloaded to see all patients in the body.

The placebo effect is true. However the placebo effect is not to be confused with the platitudes effect.

Two side issues to be aware of to address that topic accurately: first in the US you can bill a video visit the same as an in person visit, but a phone visit can't be. Second the whole point economically to virtual appointments is not having to pay ancillary staff and for office supplies for in office appointments. Obviously patients like the convenience and not paying a co-pay nor for childcare.
Here in the UK virtual appointments are good for patients and medics as you describe, except for billing complications that we don't have with the National Health Service. Video appointments would be better than telephone appointments because the two people can see each others' gesticulations and other body language and so don't have to rely nearly as much on explicit vocabularies and not having a foreign accent or good diction.Patients at a video consultation would also be able to view the medical notes along with the medic.
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Sushan wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:02 am ...I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.
OK, so that's what you think. But what does the patient think, do you think? I think your sub-topic here is patient-care, and that centres on the patient, and what they think or feel, not what you, the carer (?), might think? 🤔

This seems to me to evoke echoes of empathy, when it is described as "not how you would feel in their situation, but how they feel in their situation".

In this 👆 sense, I don't think it matters what you think is important?



But let's be fair, and not forget that what we're talking about here is the carer trying to approach telepathy, to know what the patient thinks and feels, so that they might care for the patient better. And telepathy is not yet among the skills taught to medical carers. 😉
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: October 15th, 2021, 1:41 am
Sushan wrote: October 14th, 2021, 7:54 pm
LuckyR wrote: October 10th, 2021, 4:53 pm
Sushan wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:44 am

Placebo effect depends on the beliefs of the patients. When patients trust their care givers and the medicine that they get, there is a tendency for them to get better even with an irrelevant treatment. But that is not a certain thing, and also cannot be proven objectively, though we consider that when we conduct researches. So if one is trying to go in that pathway calming and soothing words will have an impact as they will build faith in the patient.

But those words has to be reasonable, and it is better if they can be honest as well. A patient with a heavily bleeding massive injury will know that he is in a dangerous situation. Trying to calm down such a patient with words may lead him to think that he is going to die, and that is why the caregiver is trying to sooth him, and that may even panic him.
Several things:

First the placebo effect is real and been demonstrated objectively in research studies. Second, the placebo effect can even be documented when the patient is told they are receiving a sugar pill.

More to the actual point, communicating with patients, I agree with you that the effects of communication styles is small, thus they are less of an effect when the medical situation is serious and large when the patient is healthy. Obviously the latter situation is much more frequent than the former.
Presence of placebo effect is real. But I do not think of it as a measurable or predictable thing. People are different from each other, so is the placebo effect since that has lot to do with the mental component.

I am not saying that communication is less effective. Medical personnel are tested for their polite conversing ability with patients for a reason. A patient must be felt reassured when a medical professional is caring for him. But I think that conversation should only contain the truth, and revealing that truth with the least negative effect to the patient is the real skill that any medical professional should develop.
Well we are in agreement that one should never lie to a patient. Though an experienced clinician can easily deliver two truthful yet entirely opposite sounding summaries of identical information.
In vague and grey situations the tone of the voice of the clinician will give either reassurance or terror to the patient with the equal mmessage. When the clinician really cannot say whether the patient is in a critical stage or not, then it is fair enough to reassure the patient. But, yes, as soon as when the real situation is understood I think it is fair and ethical to inform it to the patient as well.
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

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Belindi wrote: October 15th, 2021, 5:16 am Communications between a medic and a patient is a topic in the headlines in the guise of the effectiveness or otherwise of telephone conversations with the GP as opposed to face to face conversations. Each party has to be pretty good at explicit language, besides reassurance.

Telephone conversations need special skills on the parts of both medic and the patient. While requests for repeat prescriptions are feasible over the phone, unusual or more complex problems are not suited to telephone appointments. Unfortunately GPs are too overloaded to see all patients in the body.

The placebo effect is true. However the placebo effect is not to be confused with the platitudes effect.
A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, often used as a thought-terminating cliché, aimed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease.[1] The statement may be true, but its meaning has been lost due to its excessive use.
Wikipidea

I do not think it is suitable to use platitudes in medical conversations, and also I do not think clinicians do so unless they are cruel enough to either get rid of the patients or to show that they are too busy.

Telephone conversations should be limited to mere explanations and simple prescriptions. But for conversations that have an emotional part, it definitely should be a face to face communication, because face is advance in showing emotions than the voice.
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: October 15th, 2021, 11:44 am
Belindi wrote: October 15th, 2021, 5:16 am Communications between a medic and a patient is a topic in the headlines in the guise of the effectiveness or otherwise of telephone conversations with the GP as opposed to face to face conversations. Each party has to be pretty good at explicit language, besides reassurance.

Telephone conversations need special skills on the parts of both medic and the patient. While requests for repeat prescriptions are feasible over the phone, unusual or more complex problems are not suited to telephone appointments. Unfortunately GPs are too overloaded to see all patients in the body.

The placebo effect is true. However the placebo effect is not to be confused with the platitudes effect.
Two side issues to be aware of to address that topic accurately: first in the US you can bill a video visit the same as an in person visit, but a phone visit can't be. Second the whole point economically to virtual appointments is not having to pay ancillary staff and for office supplies for in office appointments. Obviously patients like the convenience and not paying a co-pay nor for childcare.
In the economical as well as the management aaspects you have pointed out few important things. Yes, it is true that cost can be cut by phone visits and video visits when in person attendance is not essentially required. And it is time saving for the patient as well. This is commonly used in the current covid situation to avoid unnecessary exposure to the public and it has been quite successful. Nowadays the technology is improved and I do not see a fault in using the advance technology even in patient consultation appropriately.
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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

Belindi wrote: October 15th, 2021, 11:59 am
LuckyR wrote: October 15th, 2021, 11:44 am
Belindi wrote: October 15th, 2021, 5:16 am Communications between a medic and a patient is a topic in the headlines in the guise of the effectiveness or otherwise of telephone conversations with the GP as opposed to face to face conversations. Each party has to be pretty good at explicit language, besides reassurance.

Telephone conversations need special skills on the parts of both medic and the patient. While requests for repeat prescriptions are feasible over the phone, unusual or more complex problems are not suited to telephone appointments. Unfortunately GPs are too overloaded to see all patients in the body.

The placebo effect is true. However the placebo effect is not to be confused with the platitudes effect.

Two side issues to be aware of to address that topic accurately: first in the US you can bill a video visit the same as an in person visit, but a phone visit can't be. Second the whole point economically to virtual appointments is not having to pay ancillary staff and for office supplies for in office appointments. Obviously patients like the convenience and not paying a co-pay nor for childcare.
Here in the UK virtual appointments are good for patients and medics as you describe, except for billing complications that we don't have with the National Health Service. Video appointments would be better than telephone appointments because the two people can see each others' gesticulations and other body language and so don't have to rely nearly as much on explicit vocabularies and not having a foreign accent or good diction.Patients at a video consultation would also be able to view the medical notes along with the medic.
In addition to that it is easy for the clinician to understand the patient's condition when he/she actually (or via video) seeing the patient rather than listening to him/her over the phone. Patient may say that "I am having pain". But the face will give away the severity of the condition which won't be easily given away by the voice. Personal attendance is the best. But wherever applicable video consultations are acceptable as well.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: Do words actually carry a big impact?

Post by Sushan »

Pattern-chaser wrote: October 17th, 2021, 9:05 am
Sushan wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:02 am ...I think it is important for the patient to know the truth.
OK, so that's what you think. But what does the patient think, do you think? I think your sub-topic here is patient-care, and that centres on the patient, and what they think or feel, not what you, the carer (?), might think? 🤔

This seems to me to evoke echoes of empathy, when it is described as "not how you would feel in their situation, but how they feel in their situation".

In this 👆 sense, I don't think it matters what you think is important?



But let's be fair, and not forget that what we're talking about here is the carer trying to approach telepathy, to know what the patient thinks and feels, so that they might care for the patient better. And telepathy is not yet among the skills taught to medical carers. 😉
I do not think telepathy is necessary for a human to understand another human being. All of us are happy to hear good news. Even in a critical situation we love to hear that we will be saved and the injuries are not too bad.

Telling a bad news is hard for the clinician as well. And that is why it is being taught and trained as a skill by all clinicians. Clinicians go through all these trouble because the right thing is to deliver the truth to the patient. What can be gained by giving a patient false hopes?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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