Transparency in the Pursuit of Chiropractic Care
Transparency (being upfront, honest and completely open) is absolutely vital in any scenario in which medical care is being administered. Without transparency, it is difficult to establish a level of communication and trust between the physician and the patient. The doctor-patient relationship is extremely important for the successful provision of care and in order to maintain this relationship, transparency is a necessity.
We often stress the need for transparency on the part of doctors. Specifically, doctors need to be completely honest with their patients in terms of test results and the prospective efficacy of certain treatment options. Doctors are also tasked with ensuring that they keep the patient updated as they move through their specific care pathway. If there is a change in the course of this treatment pathway, or if there is a negative development, the doctor needs to inform the patient of what is happening and help reach an agreement of where to go next.
However, there is also a large responsibility of the patient to be transparent as the doctor needs to know what a patient has been doing to care for him or herself. In chiropractic care this is especially important because a lot of the onus is placed on the patient’s work and behavior outside of the chiropractor’s office. Additionally, we have seen a tendency for patients to not fully disclose information about the pursuit of chiropractic care to their primary care doctor, which can form significant gaps in understanding a patient’s overall condition.
According to a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente, a significant 42% of patients who sought chiropractic care for chronic pain did not inform their primary care physician that they were doing so. This is almost half of the patients involved in the study, which is a massive proportion of individuals not using full transparency with their doctors.
Kaiser Permanente hypothesizes that patients who are seeking chiropractic care may feel that they will be chided by doctors who believe chiropractic care is ineffective and dangerous. Regardless of a patient’s choices and what he or she believes their physicians will think, it is important to disclose any and all information about self-pursued treatment interventions to any kind of physicians.