/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: Google is good for Search, but not for health

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google is good for Search, but not for health

Patients and doctors disagree on some essential issues according to three new surveys conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey of 39,090 patients and 335 primary-care physicians revealed discrepancies between doctors’ and patients’ perceptions of following medical advice, the role of prescription drug ads in the exam room, and the value of online research of medical conditions. The full results of the survey as well as advice on how consumers can get better care from their doctors appearED in the February issue of Consumer Reports.
n total, 39,090 patients were surveyed about their doctor visits in two parts. Consumer Reports asked 25,184 respondents to its 2006 Annual Questionnaire about visiting the doctor for treatment of their most bothersome illness. During the summer of 2006, 13,906 online subscribers were polled about preventive-care visits. (CR acknowledges that its subscribers might not be representative of the population as a whole). Consumer Reports also questioned a random sample of 335 primary-care physicians about how things look from the other side of the table.

Consumer Reports’ survey results also reveal that doctors think the health-care system works much better for drug and health-insurance companies than for primary-care doctors and their patients.

CR notes that the pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars marketing prescription drugs directly
to patients; and wining and dining doctors so they’ll prescribe them.

-- Knowing the side effects. Among patients who received prescriptions from their doctors, 31 percent reported that their doctor didn’t adequately explain possible side effects, so Consumer Reports recommends that patients should ask questions about drugs prescribed during the visit. Also, nine percent of patients said their doctor did not review their other prescriptions to check for potentially harmful interactions with the newly
prescribed drug.

-- Requesting prescription drugs. According to the survey, patients most frequently ask about advertised drugs for acid reflux, impotence, allergies, and insomnia – mainstays of the television ad lineup. Only seven percent of patients admitted to asking for advertised drugs for their most bothersome conditions.

-- Knowing the cost. Two-thirds of patients reported that doctors never brought up the costs of treatments and tests.

Consumer reports Article

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