Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Medicine: Patient Self-Sabotage

About twelve years ago, a Psychiatrist in town published an article reporting that 9% of the patients seen by psychiatrists in his study sabotaged their care.  I wonder what a similar study would show in Family Medicine.  I've noted recently a trend in the patients I'm seeing toward sabotaging their potential for success with treatment of a chronic disease.  What drives their behavior, or lack of behavior, in the case of non-adherence to mutually agreed to care plans?

How many other Family Physicians are seeing patients who sabotage their care?

How many patients are aware that they are sabotaging their own health (care)?

More later.


  1. I have chronic problems, fibro, osteo, stenosis and chronic fatigue. In what ways do you think we might be sabotaging our treatment? Patients need to be made aware of these things so we might change them.

  2. I too would be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this topic.

    For me, I'm getting to the point where I don't ever want to take steroids again for asthma. Not breathing is so much easier than this adrenal stuff.

    No doubt that would qualify as self-sabotage but I feel like I've been backed into a corner with no good choices.


  3. Thanks for your comments, Diane and Medical Mojave. I'll put together a longer post to expound a bit more some day. I'm surprised sometimes when a patient will be miserable with a condition or problem and very intensely complaining about it and I find a recent visit for the same problem, noting the treatment plan at that time. I inquire about how that treatment affected them. They reply," O I didn't fill that prescription." or "I didn't go to physical therapy since I thought it would be useless." or "I haven't taken the blood pressure medication yet."etc., etc.