Inequity in health

Below you find English versions of two videos that are part of the series of materials for Inequity  in health. The questions that follow each video can be used to encourage discussion about the respective theme. 

Diagnosis with barriers
Experience shows that people who have both a somatic and a mental illness is discriminated in the healthcare system and among healthcare providers, compared to people who only have a somatic illness. One of the consequences of this discrimination is that people with mental illness have a substantially shorter lifespan than people without a mental illness. Prejudice, myths and a lack of knowledge about mental illness can make it difficult to rightly diagnose the patient but it can also result in either under- or overtreatment of the individual.

Video with Keld:
Watch a short video. Keld is speaking with a doctor at a Spine Center. He has been referred by his general practitioner.

Duration: 0:52 min

Questions for reflection:

  • What do you understand by the headline “Diagnosis with barriers” in relation to the patient’s meeting with the healthcare system?
  • Have you experienced that psychiatric diagnosis can affect your assessment of a patient?
  • What do you think about the way in which the doctor meets Keld? Try to put yourself in the doctors place and reflect on how you perceive people who have both a somatic and a mental illness?
  • Is there a need to change your attitudes or practices? 

Good communication
For people using healthcare services, whether you have a mental illness or not, to be treated as an individual is as essential component of their whole experience, treatment and recovery. It is essential to assessment, treatment and finishing treatment in healthcare that high quality patient communication takes a starting in the right and relevant need for the individual patient. Therefore, communication between healthcare professional and patient is highly important for a good experience and therefore central and relevant to everyone within the healthcare system.
Communication in a healthcare setting is one of the most important tools for providing great patient care and improving patient satisfaction. However, missteps in communication can easily occur. This is both concerning communication between patient and healthcare professional but also internal communication at the workplace between healthcare professionals. This can lead to stigmatizing of people with mental illness.

Video with Birgit:
Watch a short video. Birgit has severe anxiety but she also suffers from abdominal pain. Birgit has found her way to the emergency room but how will she explain her problem?  

Duration: 0:38 min

Questions for reflection: 

  • When did you last experience a particular good communication with a patient? What happened? And why did it go so well?
  • What do you think about the way the doctor reacts in the video?
  • What do you think about the way Birgit reacts in the video?
  • Consider the reasons for their behaviors and reactions.
  • Consider reasons why communication in situations like the one in the video sometimes fail.
  • Reflect on how you can contribute to good communication – both between you and your colleagues and with patients.