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Ask, and it Shall Be Answered

Or, if you can't raise the bridge, lower the river

One of modern health care's biggest problems is patient adherence. Your doctor may write a prescription or give you advice, but it won't help if you don't take the medication or follow the recommendation.

For years, there have been programs to help doctors learn to communicate with patients, hoping this would improve adherence. But they helped only a little.

It took the School of Journalism and Communication at Ohio State University to turn the problem around.

According to the January 2000 Archives of Family Medicine, instead of relying on doctors to offer needed information, the journalism school developed a program to teach patients about the right questions to ask their doctors.

Turns out that patients who knew what questions to ask not only got the answers, but followed the medical advice better than those who hadn't been trained in questioning. The same patients were also better about keeping appointments for follow-up visits.

Consumer News