Dutch patients unhappy about communication with their doctor

Dutch patients unhappy about communication with their doctor

According to news source the Telegraaf, about 40 percent of Dutch patients feel they don't get the chance to properly communicate their grievances when visiting their doctor.

Communicating issues and preferences

A research by Patiëntenfederatie Nederland among over 4.600 people brought to light that patients can leave a doctor's visit feeling that they did not have the chance to fully communicate their issues and preferences for treatment.

Although multiple treatment options do get proposed, about 15 percent of the researched group felt they were insufficiently involved with the final decision regarding further steps in their procedure.

Taking the patient into account

Patiëntenfederatie's director Dianda Veldman acknowledges that doctor-patient communication in the Dutch healthcare system can be one-sided, while it is important that decisions are reached taking the patient's stance into account.

Mutual involvement campaign

To encourage more inclusive decision-making processes, various institutions are collaborating to start a set of campaigns.

Through this project they hope to raise awareness among doctors, hospitals and patients alike, regarding the importance of mutual involvement in setting up a treatment plan.

Campaign website

The campaign includes a website that offers instruction videos and tips for both doctors and patients.

Patients are reminded that there are always multiple options for their treatment, and are advised to prepare their talks by thinking of questions and finding independent information.

Doctors are presented with various trainings and information on encouraging and processing input from patients, including instructions about a patient’s fears, wishes and convictions that might impede the discussion.

Attention to the individual needs of the patient are encouraged over a more general approach.

Sources: The Telegraaf,

Alexandra van Kampen


Alexandra van Kampen

English and Japanese theatre and culture are my forte. My mother was raised in England, and my grandmother in Japan. I studied Japanese Language and Culture, and Film and Photographic...

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