Social media is a barrier to effective doctor-patient relationships: Dr Rohit Kapoor

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Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Dr Rohit Kapoor holds a distinguished array of qualifications, including an MBBS, an MD in Pediatrics, an FNB in Pediatric Hemato-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, and an ECFMG certification from the USA. With a wealth of expertise spanning more than a decade, Dr Kapoor presently serves as a dedicated professional at Max SuperSpeciality Hospital, situated in Vaishali, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

When a patient explains to you about their health problems, what are the most common mistakes they make in their communication?

Patients are often not precise about their complaints. They already read and make their own perception of their disease based on the internet search, and have even thought of the treatment. These diagnoses that they make based on their internet search are mostly incorrect. This results in them engaging in wrong investigations and self-medication with the wrong drugs. They often skip the history and directly show their reports to the doctor, expecting treatment and not allowing a proper investigation on the part of the physician. Such behaviours lead to more anxiety and delays in accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

What does health literacy mean to you, and why is it important in patient care?

It is the ability of individuals to understand, acquire a level of knowledge, access health information, and also have the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitude to understand health information with an aim to improve personal and community health by changing personal lifestyles. It also entails effective communication with the healthcare team. Health literacy skills help patients so that they have control over their own well-being by making effective healthcare decisions and also improving their communication with doctors.

If a patient is knowledgeable about the basics of their health condition, how helpful is it for the overall treatment procedure?

If the knowledge is correct, then it improves patient care and is helpful for the treating physician. However, in today’s era, a lot of health misinformation is there on social media which is a barrier to effective doctor-patient relationships. 

How much can medical misinformation impact treatment procedures?

Once some patient is diagnosed with cancer, they are often directed by various social media, websites, or their relatives to treatments that are all natural including some herbs that don’t have significant serious adverse effects. Patients often resort to this false, inaccurate, or misleading information. This causes delays in the curative treatment or procedures that involve accurate diagnosis. Thus, effective life-saving treatment is delayed and often cancers get upstaged. 

What are the most common myths or misinformation you see your patients falling prey to? 

In the field of oncology, patients often fall prey to alternative medicine that is unregulated and is not FDA-approved. They often resort to unknown medicinal agents and herbs. This leads to various drug interactions with allopathic agents and often leads to cancer relapse and the patient comes in the later stages of disease. One of the patients I recently encountered was taking alternative medicine to increase the haemoglobin however ended up in the toxicity of the liver and bone marrow culminating in fibrosis and eventually degenerating into acute leukaemia. Alternative medicine may contain a lot of metals that are toxic to marrow stem cells. Similar things happened in the COVID-19 pandemic; because of fear of COVID-19 in cancer patients the diagnosis got delayed and they didn’t resort to immediate care and thus cancer got upstaged where only palliation could be possible. 

What is your most common advice to patients to stay away from health misinformation online?

Ideally, the doctor has to explore the patient’s medical sources, from where the information was gathered including family, friends, news, websites as well as social media. The doctor also needs to dig into why patients seek to obtain information from their preferred method and that actually links to health literacy. Doctors have to be polite and should resort to avoid shaming or being very judgmental. Doctors should explain the scientific research and data to make patients understand statistical information and improve the judgment of the patients to judge which information is actually true. 

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Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Urmimala Sengupta
Urmimala Sengupta
A mass-communication graduate, Urmi is responsible for reporting about the healthcare industry.
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