"We [doctors] don't do a good job of knowledge transfer in a way that patients and family members can understand," said Ting. "Graphs and charts are not going to work for many of our patients."
One reason for patients' misunderstanding is the common belief, cited in the study, that if a treatment is offered, it must have curative benefits.
And Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, associate chief of the division of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine said that, "it's not counterintuitive for patients to conclude" that if angioplasty widens an artery it will reduce the risk of heart attacks and death, even though it is not true.
Fonarow, who is also professor of cardiovascular medicine and science at the school, contends that "the importance of this study is not that the patients should not have had the procedure." Instead, he said, the study highlights the different perspectives of doctors and their patients.
Find out more about angioplasty at the U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
SOURCES: Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiovascular medicine and science, director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, associate chief, Division of Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Henry H. Ting, M.D., interventionist cardiologist, associate dean for quality at Mayo Clinic, and professor, medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Michael B. Rothberg, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor, medicine, Tufts University, Boston, and cardiologist, division of general medicine and geriatrics, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.; Sept. 7, 2010, Annals of Internal Medicine
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