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Trusting Your Doctor


New research sheds light on the issue of trusting your doctor, and the effect this can have on your health. If you trust your doctor, you're more likely to "do better when you're sick", the Guardian reports on a study published by General Hospital Psychiatry.

119 people with various types of cancer were involved in the study, which found that three months on from being diagnosed, those who did not trust their doctors were more distressed and, more worryingly, were more physically disabled. For example, they were less capable of going for long walks or taking care of themselves.

The Guardian reports that "trusting your doctor has clear health benefits", such as making you more likely to try new drugs, more open about vital medical information, more likely to follow your treatment plan and take preventative measures.

Reducing the power difference between you and your doctor, through being listened to with empathy or being involved in decision-making, encourages trust. One study found a significant association between this trust and the amount that patients' symptoms had improved within two weeks.

So could trust in your doctor make a difference to your recovery time, should you fall ill?

As always, we take the first 10 comments from the article we've condensed and create a summary of public opinion for you.

Many commenters use the facility to discuss their issues with trusting doctors, mainly based on personal experiences of misdiagnosis. One claims that "a little scepticism is healthy".

Some highlight the importance of the length of time you have known your doctor, claiming that if you know what type of person they are you can make a more informed decision about their trustworthiness. Others take the stance that multiple medical opinions should be taken, in order to avoid the risk of human error.

It is widely agreed that you must trust your instincts, as well as an expert opinion. A doctor himself, one commenter says "I wouldn't advocate blind trust in anyone in our profession". He highlights the huge span that medicine covers and notes that some doctors may never see a case of a rare condition throughout their entire career, making diagnosis difficult.

Do you trust your doctor? How much impact do you think this has on your health?

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