In a recent JAMA article, physicians Epstein and Back implore us to recognize that diagnosing and treating symptoms and illness is only a part of addressing patient suffering. Suffering “manifests as indirect emotional expressions, inconsistencies in patients’ narratives, or discomfort within clinicians themselves”. An awareness of patient’s suffering and responding, even before knowing the reason why the patient is suffering, is often missing in patient care today. In this article, the authors’ recommend two clinical approaches to suffering that they synthesized from literature review.
Link to JAMA article abstract (12/22/2015)