Patients often too intimidated for a second opinion

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There is still too much ignorance among patients about how to go about asking for a second opinion. Many patients are also too intimidated, or too afraid that they will damage a good relationship with their doctor, to do so.

This is according to a survey done by Best Doctors among 689 back patients and prostate cancer patients, NU reports.

The survey found that three quarters of back patients and a third of prostate cancer patients would like a second opinion. Of this group of prostate cancer patients, 70 percent do not know how to get a second opinion. They also have no idea about whether or not it forms part of their health insurance.

The results also showed that those patients who did get a second opinion are happy with the results.

The main reasons for getting a second opinion include asking about other treatment options, confirming a diagnosis or medical advice. Back patients also go for a second opinions if the results of their treatment are disappointing.

Chris Laarakker of the Prostate Cancer Foundation thinks that not getting a second opinion is a missed opportunity. "People often think longer about buying a refrigerator than choosing a doctor. But if there are several treatment options, it is important consider good alternatives and a second opinion request."

Leen Voocht of the Dutch Association of Back Patients agrees. "Physicians finds a request for a second opinion very normal. However, patients do not always know that they can make use of this option in their insurance package."