Many would call it emotions winning over rationale thinking, some may call it a paradox - knowing what to do but don't do it anyway, others would simply attribute it to indecisiveness. In years listening to patients, we've identified it as health decision conflicts. It may explain why treatment adherence is an issue, or not everyone adopts treatment immediately, preferring to watch and wait, or manage their health erratically - we call it "Decision Conflicts" at Self Care Catalysts.
Understanding patient behavior is not a straight line process, it's taking a peek into their past as well as real world experiences, influencers, supporters, expectations, motivations and aspirations. A patient who decides to ignore his/her physician's orders to take colorectal screening or initiate a drug treatment immediately because of unfounded fears may just one day re-appear at his/her clinician's office but in their own time. There's something that's buried beneath what the patient chooses to reveal to us... it's the internal conflict, the battle between what's painful at the moment and scary about the future... these are the decision conflicts that don't always surface in most patient- physician dialogue. Until we understand what's at the core of patient's day to day life and pave an easier way to prepare for the challenges of treatment, patient engagement may continue to be a challenge.