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† The Sickest Patients Donít Follow Doctorís Orders


Narrator:       This is Science Today. A new study has found that the sickest patients are less likely to follow doctor's orders. Psychologist Robin DiMatteo of the University of California, Riverside says their analysis looked at different kinds of diseases - very serious ones versus simpler conditions.

DiMatteo:       We found that when patients had very, generally not terribly serious conditions like strep throat or an ear infection, that the sicker they were, the more likely they were to take their medication. But if we looked at the higher severity conditions: serious diabetes, HIV infection, cancer, the trend reversed. And that was really troubling.

Narrator:       DiMatteo says anxiety and depression cause patients to stop adhering to treatment, so a good doctor-patient relationship is very important.

DiMatteo:       Talking to the patient about their treatment regimen, about the importance of following it - the physician's level of caring and empathy about what the patient's going through all can make a huge difference.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.