Five questions for Dr. Wendy Gill
On their first visit, how often are patients eager to learn about treatment details?
Patients are usually interested in outcomes and not clinical details. Once they are satisfied about treatment, the main concerns are pain and cost.
Has patient behavior changed recently?
The number of patients who are anxious seems to have decreased mainly because they have been able to establish what is reliable information on the internet.
Should every patient hear everything about therapies?
I always explain my reasonings for planned treatment, outline the individual patient’s risk factors and discuss where patients’ anxieties lie.
What are the most convincing patient information tools?
Predictability, longevity of results and clinical experience are probably the top of the list. Additionally, having multiple healthcare providers (e.g., hygienist) involved in discussions is also helpful.
Will PRO become more important in the future?
It is an important topic in Australia at the research level. We need to be aware of the data available for PROs and be able to explain to patients what this means in real, clinical terms.