Is clinical inertia an acceptable term?

CLINICAL inertia is a term which has been used to describe doctors not giving patients the recommended treatments.

A Belgian study explored the beliefs of 114 GPs in eight focus groups.

Many GPs were uneasy about discussing clinical inertia and some felt guilty about not giving the optimum therapy. The GPs commented on the complexity of clinical cases. They were managing patients rather than aiming for targets.

Conflicting priorities and tiredness contributed to clinical inertia. The paperwork needed to prescribe particular drugs led to some GPs not using them.

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