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A recent study published in the British medical journal reveals why strong collaboration is so critical to good healthcare.

The authors tried to compare aerobic exercise and Tai Chi for treating fibromyalgia. Both are known to be effective for some patients; so the authors tried to discern which might be better.

Due to limitations in study design and execution, the results of their trial could not achieve their goal.

However, they did confirm that exercise helps fibromyalgia, and also that an individualized treatment plan is critical to getting the best outcome possible:

Beware of a doctor, however well intentioned, who does not collaborate with you to find the best treatment for you as an individual. Suggesting one type of exercise or another must always be accompanied by a robust discussion of the benefits, risks, alternatives and unknowns, and a shared decision on which plan to try.

Simply offering a prescription for exercise, or for any other treatment, is not collaborative care, and runs a strong risk of failing to help you achieve your goals.