“How are you doing?” “O.K.”
That kind of exchange, which takes place at all too many medical checkups, may sound harmless. But for patients with chronic health problems — arthritis, heart disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, attention deficit disorder — it suggests that the doctor is not doing his or her job. When physicians fail to ask probing questions about quality of life, addressing only the physical aspects of a chronic illness, they are likely to miss serious problems that can be remedied — among them depression, sleep disruption, loss of sexual desire and difficulty with everyday or pleasurable activities.
“More and more patients report that they do not feel heard,” Jackson Rainer, professor of psychology at Georgia Southern University
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