Treatment with dignity may be best treatment of all

October 4, 2005

Baltimore - According to a recent Johns Hopkins study, a hefty dose of dignity is a good way for doctors to enhance their patients' course of treatment.

Baltimore - According to a recent Johns Hopkins study, a hefty dose of dignity is a good way for doctors to enhance their patients' course of treatment.

In a national survey of more than 5,500 Americans, those who said they were treated with dignity during their last medical encounter were more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction with their care, adhere to therapy and obtain preventive services.

Johns Hopkins researchers interviewed 5,514 Americans who reported having a medical encounter within the previous two years. Most respondents were female, had at least some college education, had relatively high incomes and were native English speakers. Overall, 76 percent reported being treated with a great deal of respect and dignity, and 77 percent reported being involved in decisions to the extent that they wished.

The survey noted that being treated with dignity was significantly associated with adherence to treatment plans for racial and ethnic minorities, whereas being involved in decisions was significantly associated with adherence for whites.

The study's results were published in the July/August issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

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