'The work that patients do to manage their health often remains invisible to health professionals', says this analysis paper in this week's print BMJ (20 October)
CITATION: Dobler Claudia C, Harb Nathan, Maguire Catherine A, Armour Carol L, Coleman Courtney, Murad M Hassan et al. Treatment burden should be included in clinical practice guidelines BMJ 2018; 363 :k4065. https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4065 (restricted access)
Correspondence to: C C Dobler dobler.claudia AT mayo.edu
- Treatment burden, the work that patients need to do to care for their health and its effect on their life, is often substantial for people with chronic conditions
- Although modern clinical guidelines may consider acceptability to patients, evaluations of treatment burden are not included
- Information on treatment burden would enable patients to make informed decisions about treatments
- High quality methods for assessing treatment burden need to be identified and meaningful ways of adding this information to clinical practice guidelines need to be explored.
Comment (Neil PW): Although the paper does not appear to mention it, this problem is likely to be closely related to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. If a treatment is effective, most patients would be willing to invest 'work'. It a treatment is ineffective or harmful, then the patient's need to invest 'work' adds insult to injury.
Best wishes, Neil
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