GPs avoid touchy health issues
by Gill Montia
Story link: GPs avoid touchy health issues
Britain’s GPs are apparently too polite to raise sensitive issues with patients, such as obesity and alcohol misuse.
According to Aviva’s latest Health of the Workplace study, personal hygiene tops the list of subjects to be avoided, with more than half of GPs surveyed unprepared to raise the topic with patients.
The study also indicates that the more serious condition of smoking is avoided by 13% of GPs, alcohol misuse by 19% and obesity by 47%.
The situation is compounded by patients failing to raise issues with their GPs, with the research suggesting that 43% never discussing any general health concerns with their doctor.
To make matters worse, many patients questioned demonstrated an alarming lack of knowledge of some basic health indicators.
Only half of those surveyed knew their weight, 68% were unaware of their blood pressure level and 22% had no idea what constitutes a healthy Body Mass Index.
Aviva UK Health principal clinical consultant, Dr Doug Wright, says: “Opening channels of communication between doctors and patients and fostering greater healthcare awareness among the population as a whole requires a major shift in attitude.”
He adds: “Whilst this can be delivered through primary care facilities such as GP surgeries, there is real opportunity for other stakeholders to support this wellness agenda.”