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Methods to Reduce Patient Anxiety

What Can Medical Providers Do to Decrease Patient Anxiety?

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of fear, dread, panic, or uneasiness that often leads to physical manifestations, such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, muscle tension, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, or involuntary shaking.

One common example of patient anxiety that occurs in the healthcare setting is white coat syndrome. White coat syndrome describes a situation where a patient's blood pressure is elevated consistently at the doctor's office but is lower in other settings, such as their home.

Patients with anxiety may purposefully avoid going to see the doctor or forgo seeking necessary care because of their fear of the unknown. This, in turn, may result in worse health outcomes for them.

What Can Medical Providers Do to Decrease Patient Anxiety?

Many factors can contribute to a patient's feeling of anxiety. These include the environment, interactions with office staff and providers, and the time spent to address all the patient's concerns and educate them.

Create a Warm and Calming Environment