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Patient beliefs – Are you mindful in your communication?

Our words can heal or harm

Patient beliefs and attitude towards pain guide their behavior and can be a big part of pain resolution or chronicity. This study showed health care professionals had a considerable and enduring effect on patients' attitudes and beliefs, which work as a double-edged sword. It also sheds light upon the importance of the beliefs of the clinicians and their ability to accurately convey modern pain science. 

Counseling patients provides the perfect opportunity to empower, reassure and positively affect patients understanding of pain and approach to movement and activity. Unfortunately, many clinicians still carry biomedical beliefs where pain is viewed as a simple cause and effect mechanism. Outdated beliefs about pain can create a nocebo-effect when it is projected on to patients, creating hypervigilance, guilt, frustration and worry. These attitudes and beliefs can cause a simple sprain to become chronic pain.

> From: Darlow et al., Ann Fam Med 11 (2016-04-08 08:08:55) 527-534 . All rights reserved to the Annals of Family Medicine, Inc. Click here for the online summary.

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