June 16, 2016 – Belief Impact


Anchor lead:  Beliefs of those making decisions for loved ones in the ICU can impact decision making, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Many of us can expect a stay in an ICU at some point in our lifetime, where we may need to rely on someone else to make medical decisions for us.  Now a new study finds that both misunderstandings about prognosis as well as personal beliefs color a decision maker’s perception and subsequent decisions.  Alison Turnbull, assistant professor of critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins, says docs need to know what you’re thinking.

Turnbull: If they are thinking, I need to stay positive, so that my loved one gets better, or I don’t want to be too optimistic and get hurt, I’m bracing myself for the worst no matter what you say, tell the doctor that.  Or if they are hoping for a miracle, tell the doctor that. Because if they don’t explain this is what is going on in my head, the doctor may assume well they just didn’t understand me, and try again.  :27

Turnbull says emotions too are better when identified and known to providers so sensitivities can be honored.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.