Initial responses of different health care professionals to various patients with headache: which are perceived as difficult?
Int J Behav Med. 2013 Sep;20(3):468-75
Authors: van Wilgen CP, Koning M, Bouman TK
BACKGROUND: Somatizing patients are considered a challenge to health care professionals.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the responses of different health care professionals' to patients with headache with different presentations.
METHOD: Medical professionals (n = 77), clinical psychologists (n = 40), and psychology students (n = 115) were shown with four different manifestations of headache (neutral, somatic trauma, anxious-depressed, and severe somatizing). Health professionals rated their initial cognitive and emotional responses using a standardized questionnaire.
RESULTS: The severe somatizing and anxious-depressed patients with headache evoked significantly more negative cognitive and emotional responses in all three samples. Even brief exposure to a patient's story yields specific initial responses from various health care professionals irrespective of their disciplines.
CONCLUSION: Patients with headache and with a distressed presentation evoke significantly more negative cognitive and emotional responses in different health care professionals. Health care professionals should be more aware of their own response to difficult patients; in this way they will be more capable of managing this patient group.
PMID: 22476769 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]