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Can patient & rheumatologist agree on the target?

Can patient & rheumatologist agree on the target?

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Treat-to-target is a term bandied around a lot in rheumatology circles.

I've written about some issues when dealing with targets which aren't necessarily that well defined or easy to achieve (read here).

I listened to a talk on the weekend on patient reported outcomes and I couldn't resist taking a photo of this cartoon while it was on screen.

Different targets

It nicely highlights that what patients want to achieve with treatment may not always be what the doctor seeks to achieve. The 2 groups sometimes speak different language.

Or they've missed the important step of negotiating and communicating shared goals.

I'm often guilty of launching into the rationale for my treatment plan:

"We need to do X so that we can achieve Y"

The cartoon reminds me to also be more explicit in asking the patient in front of me:

What's your goal?

What do you want to get out of the treatment of your problem?

It seems pretty evident that agreeing to shared treatment goals would improve patient-Dr relationship and workflow.

It might even improve patient compliance. It will likely improve the effectiveness of the doctor.

Does your doctor ask you what your targets are?

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