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Aug 06, 2019

It’s common for patients to feel anxious or fearful before they see a doctor, especially if the information is of a sensitive nature. This can lead to the patient focusing only on a particular aspect of the information being given instead of the whole picture or by not even paying attention at all.

A study from the University of Michigan has found that if patients become less stressed before seeing the doctor, then they are more likely to pay attention to what their doctor is saying.[1]

Researchers from the study used a variety of methods to help lessen the participant’s negative emotions, including meditation, audio breathing exercises and listening to historical information. After completing the task, participants read information about flu, HIV and cancer, reportedly paying more attention to these health messages as they were in a more relaxed state of mind.

Allison Earl, assistant Professor of psychology and the study’s co-author, said that, “This doesn’t mean you won’t be scared or embarrassed in the doctor’s office, but you’ll be able to handle the information better by being in a calmer mood.”

Instead of watching television or playing on your phone while waiting in the doctor’s office, the researchers recommended that you meditate or listen to relaxing music so you’re in a calmer mindset before going in.

[1] Seeing the doctor? Relax, you’ll remember more.

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