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Patients may misunderstand a promise to ‘fix’ an ailment

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This study looks as how patients may misunderstand what surgeons mean when they say they can ”fix” a medical problem.

Margaret Schwarze, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, said of the study in an interview with Reuters:

”’The patient gets the message that because something is broken, it has to be fixed, and that might not be the case,’ Schwarze said. Another flaw is the assumption that surgery will return patients back to how they normally were before they got sick or hurt. ‘For many patients, especially patients with lots of medical problems who need big operations, they are not normal after surgery.”‘

”Schwarze and colleagues analyzed 48 recordings of surgeons explaining high-risk operations to patients treated at three different academic hospitals in Madison, Boston and Toronto and found that variations on the ‘fix-it’ theme regularly cropped up in these conversations.”

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