Healthy Doctors Lead to Healthy Patients
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – The health choices people make are influenced by a variety of factors; even how healthy a person’s doctor is can affect their own personal health. According to a new study, patients are more likely to follow preventative health practices such as vaccines and screenings if their doctors do so as well.
Using Israel's largest health care organization, Clalit Health Services, researchers identified 1,488 physicians and their almost 1.9 million adult patients. The health practices of the physicians and their patients were recorded including mammography, yearly flu vaccinations, and colorectal screenings.
“We found that patients whose physicians adhered to the recommended screening or vaccination practices were significantly more likely to also undergo screening or vaccination compared with patients of non-compliant physicians,” Dr. Erica Frank of UBC's School of Population and Public Health was quoted as saying.
When looking at annual flu vaccinations, only 43% of patients with doctors who had not received the flu shot were vaccinated themselves whereas 49% of patients whose physicians had been vaccinated received the shot.
The study also found that despite physicians’ better than average health habits, they could still improve their own preventative health practices such as screenings.
However, the most important thing about the relationship between physicians’ health and the health of their patients is that doctors need to ‘practice what they preach’ when it comes to certain health practices.
Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 2013