Patient Information

Information for patients

It is increasingly apparent to all doctors that patients are seeking ever more detailed explanations for their symptoms and information to assist them with treatment options.

There is a particular interest in women’s health.

Many will have found a book or article in a magazine.

Although few patients would wish to reach into the very depths of current research, some go as far as a computer search on the internet. These sites can provide a useful source of information although caution is required . At the end of most chapters of this book, a few selected Web sites have been included, which may set you on the road to some fascinating surfing. Details of support groups have also been provided.

In gynaecology, and particularly in reproductive medicine, there are quite complex issues to be addressed. It is relatively simple for a patient to understand that a ‘joint is wearing out’ or that a ‘heart-valve is leaking’ but hormones are an enigma to the majority. The interplay of the various hormones that are involved in the menstrual cycle, fertility, general health and the psyche are not yet fully understood even by specialists.

Video: Developments in Obstetrics and Gynaecology – The Internet and Patient Information

Historically in medicine, there was a paternalistic approach to deciding what should be done for a patient: the physician knew best and the patient accepted the recommendation without question. This era is ending, being replaced with consumerism and the movement toward shared decision-making.