Seniors don't raise many surgical concerns with doctors, study finds

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Seniors don't raise many surgical concerns with doctors, study finds
Seniors don't raise many surgical concerns with doctors, study finds
Whether or not to undergo a surgical procedure can be a tough call, and most patients come armed with many concerns to talk through with their doctors. But a recent study finds that seniors just aren't asking many of those questions.

Only 50% of elderly patients' concerns are brought up during consultation, even though surgeons generally do a good job in responding to patients' concerns, the report found. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine recorded patient-surgeon consultations to find out what concerns seniors raised to their prospective surgeons. After the consultation, researchers interviewed the patients to discover what, if any, concerns had not been discussed. The study focused on orthopaedic surgery.

Most of the concerns that were not talked about dealt with the procedure itself, expected improvement in quality of life, the kind of post-op care to receive and related issues. A total of 16% of unspoken worries were about the competency of the surgeon himself, and whether or not surgery was totally necessary. Researchers say this information could help surgeons to better understand their elderly patients and provide more opportunities to address their concerns. The report appears in the July issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
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