by Balthasar Schaap
Based on the discussions held in Dublin in May 2013 as part of the month of the brain, I prepared some topics for training neurologists from the patients’ point of view:
Topics that need more attention in the training of neurologists
- Facilitate, encourage and promote active patient self-management: ‘Nothing about us, without us!’
- Taking a wider approach to disease management by promoting active participation in healthy living and engagement in lifestyle issues e.g. nutrition, movement and health literacy. [Malnutrition includes obesities and cachexia (undernourishment) – both are equally harmful]
- Patients learn from stories, scientists learn from data.
- Prevention and early detection should be a focus of attention.
- Rehabilitation is important as treatment is often patchy.
- Discovering and listing unmet needs of patients by doctors and the taking of action to resolve these unmet needs.
- Patients should be encouraged to actively participate in action plans to meet their needs.
- Improving communication skills in the explanation of diagnosis/treatment should increase adherence to medicines and patient compliance.
- Support to patient organisations as a medical advisor in the field of expertise that has been developed.
- Also a neurologist can be an advocate for finding a cure for diseases that have no treatment yet.
Dr. Balthasar Schaap, is Secretary-General of EFNA (European Federation of Neurological Associations)