Back to overview

PI session stresses patient-doctor bond


Patients’ access to clear and accurate medical information is a key element in modern healthcare and achieving this may well require a closer collaboration between doctors and their patients, according to healthcare professionals.

The Special Session “EAU Patient Information Project: Setting standards in cooperation and care”, chaired by Prof. Thorsten Bach (DE) highlighted the significance of facilitating access to patient information. The EAU’s Patient Information (PI) aims to help patients better understand their conditions via the multilingual website and the resources it provides, and to encourage open communication between patients and healthcare providers.

EAU Secretary General, Prof. Chris Chapple (GB) underscored the importance of translating clinical guidelines for patients. “Involving patients can spark collaborations with patients in healthcare design, education, research, and clinical improvements,” he said.

Mr. Andrew Winterbottom (GB), founder and director of Fight Bladder Cancer UK Charity, stressed the importance of “good and speedy communication” between doctor and patient for the latter to understand their diagnoses, treatments, side effects, and prognoses to help reduce anxiety in patients.  Winterbottom suggested that doctors work with patient advocacy groups to gain insight on patient experience. “We believe in evidence-based medicine, but we also believe in medicine-based support.”

In general, patients confide more with nurses than with doctors, according to Ms. Corinne Tillier (NL) who said that “…doctors are disinterested about psychological matters.” To encourage better dialogue, doctors should explain in a way that patients understand. To help patients remember information, Tillier suggested that, when permitted, the patient records the conversation with the doctor. She added doctors and nurses should collaborate, and that the nurse can be a primary contact person for the patient.

Dr. Giulio Patruno (IT) said inadequate health literacy is a serious problem in Italy affecting more than half of the population. He said educating patients makes them more efficient at maintaining good health, prompts them to make better choices and increases their willingness to access and use information.

Prof. Carlos Llorente (ES) said there is also limited knowledge of English in Spain and fortunately the EAU Patient Information is translated into Spanish. “The EAU PI is based on the latest EAU Guidelines. It is patient-centric and relevant to patients living in different countries.” He described the process of translation, starting with urologists translating the existing English content under the supervision of the Spanish Association of Urology. This content is adapted to local circumstances, then proofread by a professional translator as an added quality measure, and reviewed and endorsed by a national society. At this moment, eight out of 10 topics are now translated in Spanish.