A disconnect between doctors and patients


We already know that there tends to be a disconnect between doctors and patients when it comes to communication. This makes deciding a course of treatment very hard. This study covered by “Cognitive Daily”:http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily starts to untangle some of those disconnects. Part of the problem comes in with understanding probability. In fact, at least 20% of the people in the study did not distinguish probabilities at all — a 0.01% chance of having a nasty problem (no matter “how nasty”) was just like a 100% chance of the same problem. On the other end of the scale, some weighed probabilities “too much” — a good chance of becoming deaf was rated worse than a small chance of dying.

This really is a problem in oncology, where cytotoxic treatments (cytotoxic=poisonous to cells) themselves tend to degrade quality of life except in regards to stopping the cancer.

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