Treatment with anti-coagulants for a variety of conditions, such as recovery from surgery and preventative measures to prevent a pulmonary embolism, has drawn differing levels of support and advice from health care professionals over the years, and patients have mirrored these shifting attitudes.
In the second of a series of reports using WebDig, a tool for monitoring and aggregating online conversations surrounding certain topics, wool.labs explored patients’ thoughts on the use of anti-coagulants. Some patients say they believe dietary supplements can form a partial substitute for the medications, while other question whether certain conditions should require a lifetime of taking blood-thinners.
“The patterns in social-media conversations suggest that patients believe they must educate themselves, each other and even, at times, their physicians,” the wool.labs report summary noted.
The full report showcases how many physicians from different specialties, such as hematology, vascular surgery and primary care practice, rely on different studies and backgrounds on the use of anti-coagulants to sometimes come to different, and contradictory, conclusions about treatment methods. It is not merely the use of the drugs that is called into question, but the tests run and the background health information for each individual patient that has some doctors looking at a completely different path than others.
“This just shows me that there is dramatic confusion and disagreement about this issue,” one physician posted on a forum after asking a question to fellow medical professionals about the use of anti-coagulants given a baseline scenario.
The disagreement among doctors has driven patients to rely as much on what they find online as what they hear from medical professionals when they’re determining a course of treatment for themselves or a loved one, the report shows.
Those with long-term conditions, including lupus, ulcerative colitis and cardiac issues, are likely to do the most research and be the most informed.
To read the full report, which includes tracking of both negative and positive responses to varying treatments over the course of time, click here.
For more insights on the health care marketing industry, sign up today, for free, for SmartBrief for Health Care Marketers.
Image credit: kutaytanir, via iStockPhoto