A newly published paper, Clinician-associated traumatization from difficult medical encounters: Results from a qualitative interview study on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, discusses how negative clinical encounters can traumatize patients, leading to distress as well as worse physical health.
The authors conducted interviews with 26 patients with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome to investigate why this happens and how doctors could do better. All of their interviewees had bad experiences with clinicians and they began to mistrust them or the healthcare system as a whole. This causes anxiety about returning to clinic.
The interviewees experienced what the authors call “clinician-associated traumatization,” which worsens their health but can be prevented through greater clinician empathy and attention and may possibly be improved through trauma therapy.
Clinician-associated traumatization from difficult medical encounters: Results from a qualitative interview study on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes.