Unintended Answer to the Nocebo Question
I keep hearing patients’ descriptions of how stressful, fear-inducing, or discouraging they found some remarks and behaviors expressed and displayed by some doctors and nursing staff. Treatment success and patient satisfaction depends on technical competence as well as good communication. In principle we all know this, but the concrete implementation in everyday clinical practice offers plenty of room of improvement. Since such counterproductive remarks or behaviors occur unintentionally and in an unreflected manner, sensitization to such context is important.
For this reason I am in favor of the authors’ suggestions for communication training and role plays. As an addendum I wish to point out that in the setting of hypnosis given by doctors or dentists, concepts have been developed for supporting patients psychologically during surgical and diagnostic procedures. Interdisciplinary cooperation has been very useful. For this reason I wish to mention a further study which takes its lead from clinical practice (1).
I think it makes sense to sharpen our medical sensibilities for this topic. Our reputation in the population is entirely dependent on adequate communication.
Dr. med. Reinhard Bauß
Conflict of interest statement
The author is a member of the German Society for Medical Hypnosis and Autogenic Training.
|1.||Häuser W, Hansen E, Enck P: Nocebo phenomena in medicine: their relevance in everyday clinical practice. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(26): 459–65. VOLLTEXT|
|2.||Hansen E: Negativsuggestionen in der Medizin. Hypnose-ZHH, 2011; 6: 65–81.|