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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-12

Respiratory disease terminology: Discordance between pulmonologists and patients


1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Asthma Bhawan, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Chest and Tuberculosis, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Soni Manipal Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Sheetu Singh
Department of Chest and Tuberculosis, SMS Medical College, 167 Officers Campus Extension, Sirsi Road, Jaipur - 302 012, Rajasthan
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.197092

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Context: A number of local dialects and languages exist in India, which leads to a single disease being addressed by a number of names which may overlap with other disease names also. This creates misunderstanding and is a hindrance to effective patient–doctor communication. Aims: The paper aims to find out how effectively the name of the respiratory disease is communicated to the patient. The terminology used by patients to describe their disease was also noted at limited level. Settings and Design: The study was conducted in the form of parallel cross-sectional surveys, among pulmonologists and patients. Methods: Among the members of the Indian Chest Society and those attending the National Conference on Pulmonary Diseases (NAPCON-2015), 1028 pulmonologists participated in the online survey which was the first part of the study. The term used to address the common respiratory disease was inquired in the survey. To find the response of patients, a questionnaire was given to the patients attending four respiratory disease clinics of a city. They were inquired about the name of respiratory disease they were suffering from. Results: Pneumonia was the disease which was communicated with exact terminology by 898 (87.4%) doctors to their patients. In contrast, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis was communicated with precise terminology by only 171 (16.6%) doctors. Pulmonary tuberculosis was exactly told by 708 (69%), asthma by 731 (71.1%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 593 (57.7%) doctors. However, only 17.6% of the 1122 patients participating in the survey had a knowledge of the name of disease they were suffering from. Conclusions: The exact terminology of the common respiratory diseases is not effectively used by many doctors and most of the patients. The study identifies an important gap in patient–doctor communication, and therefore, highlights the need of effective patient education.


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