Doctors Track Patients' Mood, Social Life to Manage Illness

JANUARY 31, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reports that many medical conditions significantly affect the quality of a patient's emotional and social life. Now, more doctors are inquiring about their patients' pain, difficulty accomplishing everyday activities, embarrassment about a condition and other issues that physicians traditionally haven't considered. "A doctor can walk into a room and decide that a patient had mild disease they don't need to treat, but a patient could be suffering dramatically," says Joel Gelfand, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of Dermatology. Dr. Gelfand, who has conducted national surveys of patients with the support of the National Psoriasis Foundation, says sometimes, when facing questions such as whether a patient's skin condition is causing embarrassment, frustration and social isolation, "it may be the first time a patient has been asked that...they sometimes break down and cry," he says.
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Wall Street Journal Article

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