Commentary Re Patient Management

In the practice of laser medicine, it has come to our attention that on occasion, patients that should respond to Laser Therapy are either slow to do so or do not improve to the degree anticipated.

We have reviewed a representative number of cases with respect to this issue and have found that in almost all instances the lack of success can be ascribed to the patient self-directing the frequency of treatment sessions, duration and other aspects of treatment. This is counter-productive for everyone concerned.

Accordingly, we make available this directive, to be distributed to each patient on the institution of therapy.

Patient Compliance – Therapeutic Implications

At this time, we wish to emphasize a number of factors regarding the administration of Laser Therapy.

The therapy team that attends to your medical problems will advise you regarding the frequency and duration of treatments. This may vary from one patient to another and also with respect to the condition being treated.

For travel and work reasons deviations from the treatment schedule are permissible. Generally, however, patients are advised to follow the course of treatment outlined, in order to produce optimal clinical outcomes. Significant deviation from that course can impede the healing process.

Our experience over the course of almost twenty years has proven conclusively that patients who comply with their prescribed therapeutic schedule achieve their objectives more rapidly than those who do not.

Once again, in order to achieve maximum benefit, patients must be encouraged to follow the treatment schedule outlined by the healthcare professional managing their case.

•  Allowances with regard to frequency of treatments may be made depending on geographic considerations and the time factor involved. For best outcomes however, a relatively structured therapeutic programme is essential.

•  In some patients, improvement may be evident after only 1-2 treatment sessions, in others however, secondary to genetic factors, chronicity, etc. 8-12 treatments may be required before significant improvement is experienced.

•  It is always stressed that patients should adhere to the programme recommended, in order to achieve the desired objective.

•  Adverse effects resulting from Laser Therapy are negligible and are not significant in our extensive experience. Nevertheless, if any should occur bring them to the immediate attention of the medical staff in order that the therapy may be modified accordingly.

•  It is essential that patients be reassessed by the healthcare professional directing their therapeutic programme every 2-4 visits, to effect protocol changes that will advance the healing process.

•  Customization of the protocols for each individual patient is an important aspect of Laser Therapy.

•  If patients need to be seen more frequently by the supervising clinician, they should so indicate when registering or notify the attending therapist, prior to the initiation of treatment.

Fred Kahn, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C)

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