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18th July, 2017
Levels of awareness
 
Doctors meet people from all walks of life and social strata in their day to day practice. And, these patients have different levels of awareness about their illnesses. Broadly speaking, patients can be classified as either "aware" or "unaware" about their illness. But, this is a very simplistic classification.
 
There are four levels of awareness - ignorant, informed, empowered and enlightened. These levels have been defined based on the ability of the person to retain the knowledge or information that has been taught or given to them.
 
  • Ignorant patients depend on the doctor to make their decisions about the necessary interventions and treatments, with no questions asked. They are ignorant of their disease and do not participate in decision making.
  • Then there are informed patients. These patients have some information about their disease and will have few questions for the doctor following which they usually accept the line of management as suggested by the doctor.
  • The next level is empowered patients. These patients have several more questions for the doctor, they cross check facts and are an equal partner in decision making regarding their treatment.
Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI
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New Delhi, 17 July 2017: According to a recent study, calcium deficiency in women is becoming a prevalent problem in both rural and urban India. This can be blamed on the changing dietary habits, particularly in urban Indians, which has undergone a major change in the last few decades. As per the IMA, people are increasingly relying on processed and packaged foods and consequently, their intake of whole foods has gone down by a major proportion.
 
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