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Humanising medicine and improving the quality of life for society as a whole

3 May 2024

Modern society faces the challenge of understanding and responding to complex health needs that go far beyond the physical aspects of illness. In an era when individual and social wellbeing is becoming a priority, the humanisation of medicine is revealing itself as a key element in shaping a healthier, more informed community. This evolution in the approach to healthcare, focusing on treating the patient holistically, translates not only into better treatment outcomes, but also into overall quality of life. Embracing empathy, understanding and respect as the foundations of medical practice has the potential to create a more supportive, integrated society, where health is seen as a multidimensional state of wellbeing.

Holistic understanding

When doctors and medical staff approach patients holistically, they do not limit themselves to treating symptoms alone, but seek to understand the broader context of their lives. This perspective allows them to identify and address factors that may be contributing to health problems, such as stress, problems in personal relationships, or working and living conditions. In this way, therapy becomes more comprehensive and effective.
Introducing elements such as psychological support, lifestyle counselling and even social health interventions into medical practice can significantly improve patients' quality of life. For example, patients with chronic conditions often face not only physical limitations, but also anxiety, depression and social isolation. Addressing these aspects as part of a holistic treatment plan can bring significant benefits.
In addition, a holistic approach fosters the active involvement of patients in the treatment process. When patients understand the relationship between different aspects of their lives and their health, they are more likely to make positive changes, such as improving their diet, increasing physical activity or better managing stress.

Impact of the humanisation of medicine on society

The humanisation of medicine, based on a person-centred approach, goes beyond individual doctor-patient interactions, potentially having a profound impact on the quality of life of society as a whole. When medicine adopts a more empathetic and person-centred approach, its effects ripple out, affecting the wider social environment.
Firstly, the humanisation of medicine can lead to a reduction in the stigmatisation of certain diseases and conditions. When medical professionals treat patients with respect and empathy, regardless of their condition, they contribute to shaping social attitudes. Understanding and acceptance of different health conditions fosters a society in which people with illnesses are not marginalised and their experiences are better understood and accepted.
In addition, a humanistic approach in medicine can improve overall social health. When patients receive care that takes into account their total needs - physical, emotional, social - treatment outcomes tend to be better, which in turn can reduce the overall level of morbidity in society. Better public health means less burden on health and social care systems.
Another aspect is the impact of the humanisation of medicine on health education. A human-centred approach can promote greater awareness and health education in society. Health education that takes into account different aspects of human life can help people to better manage their health and prevent diseases.
Finally, the humanisation of medicine can contribute to building a more equitable and accessible healthcare system. When patient wellbeing becomes the priority, health systems can be motivated to provide equal access to care for all segments of society, regardless of their economic or cultural background.

The future of healthcare

Shaping the future of healthcare relies heavily on effectively combining a humanistic approach with the latest medical advances. This trend, increasingly evident in today's medicine, promises to fundamentally change the way we treat and care for patients.
In an era where technological developments are bringing revolutionary changes in diagnosis, treatment and health monitoring, it becomes crucial to maintain a balance between advanced medicine and a humanistic approach to the patient. Empathy, understanding and patient care must go hand in hand with the use of the latest technology and medical advances to provide the best possible care.
One direction that is gaining prominence is personalised medicine - tailoring treatment to a patient's individual genetic, environmental and lifestyle characteristics. Integrating this approach with the humanisation of medicine, which takes into account a patient's individual needs and preferences, can produce revolutionary results in the treatment and prevention of disease.
In the future, we can also expect the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, telemedicine and remote health monitoring to be enriched with humanistic elements. This combination will allow for more efficient and accessible care, especially for patients in remote or underserved areas.
Furthermore, the future of medicine is likely to place greater emphasis on disease prevention and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, which is consistent with a holistic approach to health. Health education, taking into account medical aspects as well as emotional, social or environmental factors affecting health, will become a key element of healthcare.