Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Does information therapy have any adverse effects ?

I am a big believer in prescribing information - and I believe well-informed patients get better medical care. However, sometimes patients tell me that " a little knowledge can be dangerous "; and that they often prefer not reading about their problem, because "ignorance can be bliss" ! All cliches contain a grain of truth, and I am sure these do too - am I too blind to see them ?

A basic principle in medicine is that any treatment which can have good effects can also have bad effects ! Is this true of Information Therapy too ? What could these side effects be ? Excessive worrying ? Needless anxiety ? Hypochondria ? How do we identify them ? And how do we prevent and treat these ?

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