Communication with patients who have medically unexplained symptoms: an art and a skill

Henriëtte E. van der Horst, Tim C. Olde Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Abstract

The relationship between doctors and patients often becomes tense when the patient has medically unexplained symptoms: doctors may experience frustration because they feel ill-equipped to provide their patients with a plausible explanation of the symptoms. Patients often feel that their doctor does not take them seriously and would like to understand why they are having symptoms. Research into the effect of the quality of the doctor-patient relationship and doctor-patient communication where medically unexplained symptoms are concerned has led to some recommendations for communication. A thorough exploration of all dimensions of the symptoms, i.e. the somatic, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social dimensions, almost always yields starting points for explaining what is happening to the patient and for therapy. The provision of an explanation which is acceptable to the doctor as well as to the patient is an important condition for drawing up and carrying out therapy. If the doctor expresses confidence in the prognosis and outcome, this has a favourable effect on the development of the symptoms.

Translated title of the contributionCommunication with patients who have medically unexplained symptoms: an art and a skill
LanguageDutch
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Volume163
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2019

Cite this

@article{3c9fba94807e4aa297c160281eadad78,
title = "Communiceren met pati{\"e}nten met SOLK",
abstract = "The relationship between doctors and patients often becomes tense when the patient has medically unexplained symptoms: doctors may experience frustration because they feel ill-equipped to provide their patients with a plausible explanation of the symptoms. Patients often feel that their doctor does not take them seriously and would like to understand why they are having symptoms. Research into the effect of the quality of the doctor-patient relationship and doctor-patient communication where medically unexplained symptoms are concerned has led to some recommendations for communication. A thorough exploration of all dimensions of the symptoms, i.e. the somatic, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social dimensions, almost always yields starting points for explaining what is happening to the patient and for therapy. The provision of an explanation which is acceptable to the doctor as well as to the patient is an important condition for drawing up and carrying out therapy. If the doctor expresses confidence in the prognosis and outcome, this has a favourable effect on the development of the symptoms.",
author = "{van der Horst}, {Henri{\"e}tte E.} and {Olde Hartman}, {Tim C.}",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "27",
language = "Dutch",
volume = "163",
journal = "Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde",
issn = "0028-2162",
publisher = "Bohn Stafleu van Loghum",

}

Communiceren met patiënten met SOLK. / van der Horst, Henriëtte E.; Olde Hartman, Tim C.

In: Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, Vol. 163, 27.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

TY - JOUR

T1 - Communiceren met patiënten met SOLK

AU - van der Horst, Henriëtte E.

AU - Olde Hartman, Tim C.

PY - 2019/2/27

Y1 - 2019/2/27

N2 - The relationship between doctors and patients often becomes tense when the patient has medically unexplained symptoms: doctors may experience frustration because they feel ill-equipped to provide their patients with a plausible explanation of the symptoms. Patients often feel that their doctor does not take them seriously and would like to understand why they are having symptoms. Research into the effect of the quality of the doctor-patient relationship and doctor-patient communication where medically unexplained symptoms are concerned has led to some recommendations for communication. A thorough exploration of all dimensions of the symptoms, i.e. the somatic, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social dimensions, almost always yields starting points for explaining what is happening to the patient and for therapy. The provision of an explanation which is acceptable to the doctor as well as to the patient is an important condition for drawing up and carrying out therapy. If the doctor expresses confidence in the prognosis and outcome, this has a favourable effect on the development of the symptoms.

AB - The relationship between doctors and patients often becomes tense when the patient has medically unexplained symptoms: doctors may experience frustration because they feel ill-equipped to provide their patients with a plausible explanation of the symptoms. Patients often feel that their doctor does not take them seriously and would like to understand why they are having symptoms. Research into the effect of the quality of the doctor-patient relationship and doctor-patient communication where medically unexplained symptoms are concerned has led to some recommendations for communication. A thorough exploration of all dimensions of the symptoms, i.e. the somatic, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social dimensions, almost always yields starting points for explaining what is happening to the patient and for therapy. The provision of an explanation which is acceptable to the doctor as well as to the patient is an important condition for drawing up and carrying out therapy. If the doctor expresses confidence in the prognosis and outcome, this has a favourable effect on the development of the symptoms.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062380107&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 163

JO - Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde

T2 - Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde

JF - Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde

SN - 0028-2162

ER -