• 27Apr

    Changing mindsets to enhance treatment effectiveness

    This article, published by the JAMA Network, discusses frames of mind that orient beliefs or expectations and how they can influence patients’ perceptions about treatment and self-efficacy.  It proposes ways physicians might shape patients’ mindsets during clinical encounters to enhance treatment effectiveness.

    Instilling the mindset that treatments will work and that change is possible may be as simple in some cases as providing information (eg, highlighting research showing the benefits of stress) or making subtle changes in how that information is framed.

    Due to the uncertainty and individual variability in health care, physicians frequently make non-deceptive framing decisions by focusing on particular qualities of a drug, highlighting specific patient anecdotes in which the drug worked, downplaying the possibility of adverse effects, citing the usually low rate of occurrence, or emphasizing specific strengths of the patient. In other cases, the process of changing a more deeply ingrained fixed mindset may be more challenging and will require a combination of information, emotional care, and mindset.


    Alia Crum, PhD1; Barry Zuckerman, MD2,3
    JAMA. Published online April 13, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.4545