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Doctor’s Orders Ignored By Many, Poll Says [AUDIO]

Children may be at increased risk for health and safety concerns when parents choose not to follow a doctor’s advice about topics such as nutrition and injury prevention, according to a new report from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

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Flickr User Alex E. Proimos

The hospital’s new poll found 13 percent of parents follow a healthcare provider’s advice only occasionally. The other 87 percent said they follow orders either all of the time or most of the time.

Dr. Mary Campagnolo, President of the Medical Society of New Jersey and head of a family medicine practice in Burlington County, admitted that patients frequently don’t follow advice.

She said part of a physician’s challenge is understanding barriers in communication with the people they’re helping.

“We need to keep trying to communicate,” Dr. Campagnolo said. “Physicians should try to use as clear language as they possibly could, and parents and other patients should ask if they’re not sure what’s being said.”

She also advised parents to repeat back what they’re hearing, if necessary, or come in with direct questions for the doctor.

The poll asked parents which areas of advice they are most and least likely to follow. Parents who follow advice only occasionally said they are most likely to do so on topics like nutrition, going to the dentist and using car seats. They said they are least likely to follow advice on discipline, sleep pattern and watching television.

The poll noted:

“Many major health risks for children are closely tied to parenting behaviors. For example, childhood obesity has been linked to parents allowing the over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and excessive TV watching.”

Dr. Campagnolo said certain advice needs a complete lifestyle change for a family in order for them to follow through, which is another reason parents may not act on the orders.

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