Do you find that an excursion to your neighborhood wellbeing facility fills you with fear? That your GP’s holding up room evokes a stirring stomach, pounding heart rate and sweat-soaked palms, entirely detached to the illness for which you are looking for therapeutic counsel? At that point you’re perhaps encountering the manifestations of FOFO – dread of discovering. Research directed by biopharmaceutical organization AbbVie has discovered that 61 for every penny of those reviewed conceded they would consider postponing making an outing to their specialist because of a dread of being told they have a genuine ailment; while 33% of respondents conceded they would put off making an arrangement since they were stressed over being compelled into rolling out real way of life improvements.
In a joint effort with The Patients Association, AbbVie has now propelled an online test, “Smash your FOFO”, which welcomes players to answer a progression of inquiries to enable them to find exactly how truly they are influenced by FOFO – and the conceivable subsequent stages they should take.
Mark McGovern, 47, is one of those people who now wishes he’d had his symptoms checked out before he did. McGovern was driving between jobs while working for a landscape gardening company when he suffered a mini-stroke behind the wheel of his car. Luckily, he was able to pull over before an ambulance took him to hospital where he found out that he had type 2 diabetes, for which he now has to take daily medication.
“I had seen so much on the TV about the strain the NHS was under and didn’t want to be another burden,” McGovern says. “So I just put what I thought were small concerns to the back of my mind. I’m also a typical bloke and ex-forces, so I thought that any sign of being ill was a weakness.”
The father of three had been reassured by his family that the symptoms were just a result of “getting older”, while his job required him to be at work constantly in order support his family financially to the point where he thought he didn’t have enough time to see his GP.
Gray helped create NHS Choices in 2007 – an online information service that aims to help patients check on their symptoms using web resources they can trust. He argues that this service can be used by anyone as a first point of reference, alongside a trip to their pharmacist. He also recommends emailing GPs where possible, and also would like more people to use GP at hand, a new 24-hour NHS service that offers video consultations with patients via their phones.
All of these options can help patients decide whether a trip to their local surgery is necessary or not. It’s about empowering patients to act. “We haven’t been clear enough about the fact that healthcare is what you do for yourself, not what we do,” says Gray. “We need to encourage people to understand more about their body and the symptoms that are there.”