GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched a new website and media campaign that raises awareness of a common problem among many lupus patients – the need to talk honestly with their healthcare providers to get the best care
GSK launched the campaign in response to a national survey suggesting that patients often downplay their symptoms, even to their physician. Our social services counselors find that patients can often hold back to avoid “annoying” the professional. “Many patients are afraid of being seen as a complainer,” noted Director of Social Services, Jessica Rowshandel, M.S.W. here at the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. “But you must be honest about what’s wrong so the doctor can determine the right treatment.”
The Foundation is part of the LRI National Coalition of state and local lupus groups that work with patients throughout the country on how to advocate for their own care by communicating more effectively with healthcare professionals.
Jessica counsels her clients to get the most out of their doctor visits by being prepared. “You only have a short time with a doctor so patients need to make the most of that time by coming in ready to describe their symptoms and ask questions. Any time you think of something you want to ask, jot it down and post it on your refrigerator. Or keep a journal. The key is to write it down and speak up.”