Resolving patient misconceptions about vaccines, antibiotics

  • A patient says, “Giving my daughter the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will encourage sexual act

    A patient says, “Giving my daughter the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will encourage sexual act

    A clinician should share the latest research regarding the HPV vaccine with the patient’s parent/guardian. Explain how the vaccine is most effective when it is given prior to sexual activity. Stress the scientifically-based confidence in the vaccine in order to make the patient and his or her parent/guardian feel secure about the decision to vaccinate.

  • A patient says “I can stop antibiotics when I feel better.”

    A patient says “I can stop antibiotics when I feel better.”

    A provider should explain why he or she believes the patient’s medication is necessary. Then, ask the patient to repeat back information regarding the prescription to ensure the patient understands what the drug does and how often to take it.

  • A patient believes the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine will cause autism in his or her child.

    A patient believes the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine will cause autism in his or her child.

    While some parents/guardians will be convinced of the MMR vaccine’s efficacy by facts alone, a provider should tailor this conversation for each patient. Sometimes, a clinician will need to emphasize the negative aspects of vaccine-preventable diseases in order to sway a parent/guardian into vaccinating his or her child.

  • A patient presents with the common cold and demands antibiotics

    A patient presents with the common cold and demands antibiotics

    A provider should reinforce the belief that the patient is sick, but also offer alternative treatments as well as provide education relating to the over-prescribing of antibiotics. Use the term “cold” instead of “infection”.

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HealthDay News -- In order to practice evidence-based medicine and satisfy patients, patient misconceptions should be addressed, a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA) indicates.


To address common misconceptions and offer solutions that result in good medical care and satisfied patients, the AMA Medical Student Section Committee on Scientific Issues presented common situations that health-care providers may face in terms of practicing evidence-based medicine.


Reference

  1. Kratschmer, C et al. “How to reconcile patient misconceptions, evidence-based medicine.” Presented at: 2014 AMA Interim Meeting. Dallas; Nov. 7-10, 2014.
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