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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Trustworthiness Important In Legal Clients And Medical Patients

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A recent medical journal article discussed the importance of patient trustworthiness in a pain management situation. I was struck by the parallel to the need for trustworthiness in my legal clients. The medical article focused on the three components of trustworthiness:

The subjective nature of pain leads to many treatment difficulties. These problems can often be resolved if we know that the patient is trustworthy. Trustworthiness should be assessed as a distinct clinical variable. This is more easily achieved if we examine the three components of trustworthiness: the patient’s subjective reports, which we call testimony; the reason that the patient seeks treatment, which we call motive; and the patient’s adherence with efforts to get well, which we call responsibility. Because of difficulties with assessing testimony and motive, we propose that establishing the patient’s responsibility is the key to assessing trustworthiness.

Abstract of Trustworthiness as a Clinical Variable, Pain Medicine : the official journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Volume 6, Number 5, September 2005

Bottom line – I trust my clients until they give me a reason to doubt their honesty during the course of our relationship. Fortunately, only a very small percentage have been dishonest with me or my staff. I agree with the observation in the medical article that my clients and I can overcome many obstacles if we trust each other. It is the foundation of a productive professional relationship.