Patients Do Not Understand Basic Anatomy!

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Comment: When discussing anatomy with patients, there is considerable difference in terms of comprehension. This study shows there has been no improvement over a similar study conducted over 30 years ago. Overestimating the anatomical skills of the patients has a deleterious outcome on intervention and time spent with diagrams or other methods of clarification will assist compliance and improve outcome.

Conclusion : These results indicate that the ability of patients and lay people to identify the correct anatomical location of key body organs is still quite limited. Healthcare professionals still need to take care in providing organ specific information to patients and should not assume that patients have this information, even for those organs in which their medical problem is located. The consultation may offer many opportunities for both checking and improving patients’ knowledge

Weinman J, Yusuf G, Berks R, Rayner S, Petrie KJ. How accurate is patients’ anatomical knowledge: a cross-sectional, questionnaire  study of six patient groups and a general public sample. BMC Fam Pract. 2009 Jun 12;10:43. View Full Paper

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