Doctors 'should identify and talk to carers'

Posted on 03 October 2011

Doctors of those paying for care should discuss certain issues with the patient's carer, according to a University of Sydney professor.

Ian Cameron, speaking on BMJ Group podcast 'Caring for the carers', said that doctors should have a conversation with the carer to gage an idea of their experience before going on to explore issues in more detail.

The most important thing is for the medical professional to first identify the carer, he pointed out.

He said that doctors need to understand that some carers may be wary of being asked how they are coping, in case this impacts on their patient.

This means that such conversations must be handled sensitively.

"It could be perhaps raised just with very open-ended questions initially around how things are going and perhaps picking up clues that then might be raised or might be saved for another day," suggests Professor Cameron.

Furthermore, once the conversation has begun, assistance can be provided in a multitude of ways.

Posted by Nigel Murphy

 

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