Talk to your child's doctor
Communication is the key to any good relationship, so talk to your child's gastroenterologist, and help him or her understand how symptoms affect your child's daily life. By being open and honest, you give your child the best chance of benefiting from treatment.
The "doctor-patient disconnect" is real
Even in the best doctor-patient relationships, there can sometimes be communication breakdowns that can have a significant impact on how well your child's condition is understood and the way that it's treated. Today more than ever, it can be hard for patients to connect with their doctors.
To gain insight into the communication challenges these patients face, in-person interviews with 18 gastroenterologists and 40 patients with inflammatory bowel disease were conducted and videotaped. Here's what was revealed:
- The average visit lasted less than 11 minutes, and during them doctors did twice the talking: 67%
- 93% of the symptom-related questions asked by doctors focused on the "here and now" vs since the last appointment—which may explain why flares were only discussed 3% of the time
- The most surprising fact was that in only 1 out of 10 cases, doctors discussed with patients how they deal with the symptoms of their condition
And yet, some of the most important decisions that will be made in your life are made during these appointments.
Suggestions for your next office visit
- Write it down: Be sure to write down any symptoms your child experiences, the medications he or she takes, any allergies he or she has, and any previous medical procedures or diseases they've suffered from before your visit. Show this list to your child's gastroenterologist
- Encourage your child to share how he or she feels: Your child should feel comfortable telling his or her gastroenterologist about the symptoms that are the most bothersome to them. Your child should also not hesitate to talk about his or her feelings
- Share details about your child's symptoms: If your child has pain, he or she should describe how badly it hurts and anything else that doesn’t feel right. Point to the area and show the doctor the exact place of pain. Also, tell your child’s gastroenterologist about any side effects your child may have, such as stomach problems or skin rashes. This will help your doctor develop a treatment plan that is right for your son or daughter
- Speak up if something doesn't feel right: Tell your gastroenterologist about any side effects your child may have, such as stomach problems or skin rashes. This will help him or her develop a treatment plan that's right for your child
To help you get the most from your appointment, we've created a Appointment Prep Guide . Simply download and print the guide, answer the questions, and bring it to your child's next appointment. Answering these questions will help you discuss your child's symptoms with your doctor. Together, you and your doctor can then decide if treatment with REMICADE® may be right for your child.
Questions for your child's gastroenterologist
Below are some questions you may want to ask your child's gastroenterologist during your next visit:
- How did my child get pediatric Crohn's disease (PCD)? Is there a cure?
- How severe is my child's PCD?
- How will PCD affect my child's body? How will it affect his or her overall health?
- What exactly is going on with the body during a flare?
- What kinds of treatments are available that will manage my child's PCD symptoms?
- What about biologic therapy? Is my child a good candidate?
- Is there any kind of diet, food, or fitness plan that can help my child manage PCD?
When asking questions, make sure to have your child's gastroenterologist explain anything you may not understand.