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HomeEducationThe Importance of Patient Education in Atopic Dermatitis Management

The Importance of Patient Education in Atopic Dermatitis Management

Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: You talked about staying informed. Perhaps that’s the last question I’ll leave you with. I know it’s hard enough for all of us to stay on top of what’s going on. I can hardly keep up with what I hear every day. Do you have any ideas about how we keep patients and caregivers informed about new options? In my clinical practice, my patients like to hear what’s going to happen, what we’re thinking about and where it’s going. I don’t know if that’s the discussion everyone else is having during their clinical encounters, but I imagine if you give your patients a little insight into what’s happening, they’ll jump right in and want to know more. In many ways it enhances knowledge about their illness. I’ll start with you, Peter. Any idea how to keep the patients and caregivers informed?

Peter A. Lio, physician: It is our biggest challenge. Even for us it’s hard to keep up to date, and then you try to keep everyone informed. Unfortunately, one thing we must do is separate some of the wheat from the chaff. We see this. I follow a lot of podcasts and a lot of blogs, and I have all these interests. But when things get out of hand and my schedule gets messed up, I quickly go through it and say, “This doesn’t look too important. That doesn’t seem so important to me.” I choose the one I want. It’s a shame of wealth, but we’re going to have to do that a little bit with atopic dermatitis. Thousands of publications come out almost every month. We’ll have to sort it out. Groups like ICER – the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review – are cool and calculating, and I’m not necessarily fond of their approach, but I’m grateful when they say hard and fast that this is the one that seems to work the best, these are the ones that are the most economical We can direct our focus and attention which is a finite resource We don’t have the ability to learn everything.

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It will also happen to us. We’re going to have to learn these things the hard way, and then hopefully we can pass our wisdom on to our colleagues so they don’t have to go through it. A word to the wise should suffice. We can say, “This one probably isn’t worth your time. This seems like the better approach.” That’s not perfect, we’d like everything to be balanced, even and possible, but there’s not enough time for everyone to explore every option.

Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: And you, Brit? Same question. How do you foresee, or in your own best practice, to keep patients and informed about everything that is happening?

Brittany G. Craiglow, MD: I agree with that. It is heavy. I’ve learned from you today, and I like to think I’m fairly up-to-date. It’s hard, especially if you’re more of a generalist, you see a million things all day, and you don’t have many patients with atopic dermatitis. For us, it’s nice for patients to hear that people are concerned about the disease they have and that we’re working on it and continually refining treatments. Hope is something very powerful and very important to people. Even with illnesses where we don’t have that many options, letting people know things are in the pipeline, we’re moving, keep an eye on the news. These things, when done right, tend to make a splash. For us and our colleagues, things like this can help, going to meetings and looking at the disposables.

If you have a patient and you’re stuck, that’s a time when you learn. If I have someone and I feel like I’ve reached the end of my options by browsing the literature, doing a PubMed search, or seeing if there’s anything new or if there’s a report [is helpful]. When you can link your knowledge to a patient that sticks. We remember from medical school and residence, when you had a patient with a certain disease, you suddenly remember. If we care about our patients and strive to always do our best for them, and if there’s something you don’t know about and it would benefit your patient, you’ll probably find it if you look for it. If your patients are doing well, cool. But if you have someone you’re stuck with, maybe give a friend a call or ask Google, then you can get some information.

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Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: You have emphasized one important thing. In the age we live in, everyone wants digital content, everyone wants social media, people want things that are short, people want things that get to the point. Discussions like this help our providers. One can envision similar things with patients and caregivers to give them a voice, give them evidence-based solutions and move away from some of the mixed evidence-based things out there, in terms of conventional social media, that we sometimes have to deal with when patients come to our offices.

It is rare that a TikTok makes sure people come in for the right reasons. I’ve been through it before, but sometimes it’s very mixed. The bottom line is that thinking about ways that outside of the office we educate everyone who comes in will make that discussion that much richer and empower our patients and caregivers.

On that note, that brings us to the end. dr. Brittany Craiglow and Dr. Peter Lio are superstars. Thank you very much for this informative discussion. It was a pleasure to spend this time with you, and thank you all for watching this HCPLive® peer exchange. If you liked the content, and I know you did, subscribe to our e-newsletters to receive the upcoming . receive Peer Exchanges and other great content delivered straight to your inbox. Thanks again.

Transcript edited for clarity

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