facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Doctors show less empathy, concern to the overweight

April 22, 2013 at 11:28 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
BALTIMORE, April 22 (UPI) -- U.S. adults who are overweight often say they avoid doctors because they are judgmental of their weight -- and U.S. researchers say they may have a point.

Dr. Kimberly A. Gudzune, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues said the study involved 39 primary care doctors and 208 of their patients.

The study, published online in the journal Obesity, found patient weight played no role in the quantity of physicians' medical questions, medical advice, counseling, or treatment regimen discussions, but when it came to things like showing empathy, concern and understanding, the doctors were significantly more likely to express those behaviors in interactions with patients of normal weight.

Obese patients may be particularly vulnerable to poorer physician-patient communications, Gudzune said, because studies show that physicians may hold negative attitudes toward these patients. Some physicians have less respect for their obese patients, which might come across during patient encounters, the researchers said.

Bonding and empathy are essential to the patient-physician relationship.

"I hear from patients all the time about how they resent feeling judged negatively because of their weight," Gudzune said. "Yes, doctors need to be medical advisors, but they also have the opportunity to be advocates to support their patients through changes in their lives."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Protein found in breast milk may protect infants from a certain disease
2
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
3
CDC: Get your flu vaccine CDC: Get your flu vaccine
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
New industry-baked marijuana PSAs advise moderation New industry-baked marijuana PSAs advise moderation
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback