How do I manage patient expectations upfront?

How do I Manage Patient Expectations Up Front?

It is useful to help patients set appropriate expectations for what the long-term management of FM will entail and what it can achieve.

Key points for managing expectations up front

Set appropriate expectations regarding the course of the disease

  • FM is a chronic condition, and patients should understand that the aim of therapy is functionality and
    symptom improvement over time
    • The goal is to attain improvements in pain and improve function
  • Informing patients about the dynamic course of FM will help to prevent feelings of discouragement
    and helplessness
    • Flare-ups and setbacks are not unexpected, and there are strategies patients can
      use to deal with them

Set appropriate expectations regarding the treatment process

  • Explain that the process of FM care uses a collaborative team effort among the clinician, other healthcare
    providers, the patient, and significant others, and discuss the role(s) of each team member
  • Discuss the frequency of office visits with patients, how much time is available for each visit, and the
    need to prioritize treatment goals