#thickenedliquidchallenge with @DrMukeshH: Do thickened fluids benefit people with swallowing problems?

The team at GeriPal started the Thickened Liquid Challenge to raise awareness of the use of thickened liquids (or thickened fluids, as I know them) for people with swallowing difficulties. Thickened fluids are frequently prescribed to people with swallowing difficulties, but the evidence for their long-term benefit is unconvincing, as GeriPal’s Dr Eric Widera explains. In addition, they are unpleasant (as you will see from the videos!) and may result in reduced fluid intake and dehydration. You can read more about it (and watch many videos of the challenge) at GeriPal. Continue reading

#lettertome : A twitter campaign to improve how we share information with patients part 2.

Here is the long awaited second part of Dr Chris Sanderson’s thoughts about #lettertome, where doctors write letters to PATIENTS instead of other doctors……

The idea of #lettertome goes further than sharing a copy of the standard doctors’ letter with the patient. Instead of writing about patients, maybe we could be writing to them. When we reconceptualise what we do in terms of patient-centered care, a letter can have very valuable functions:

  • It explicitly addresses the patient’s role in their own care, as part of the team, and helps them to follow up their own part in the treatment plan
  • It can restate and confirm the discussion that has been held with the patient, for them to use and refer back to – helping to overcome problems for patients of misunderstanding, mishearing, or simply missing much of what is said because they are overwhelmed
  • Likewise, the GP and other clinicians can know exactly what has been communicated to the patient about their situation
  • It can affirm the clinician’s care for the patient, and their plans to address the patient’s problems
  • It can invite the patient to correct or update information that is being shared about them
  • It conveys a fundamental message of respect, of collaboration, and of transparency in communication, and helps the patient to understand how the network of clinicians caring for them are working together in their care – who is doing what, and how they are staying in touch with each other to address the patient’s problems.

Continue reading