You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Present a written argument or case to an educated non-specialist audience on the following topic.
A number of different medical traditions are now widely known and used: Western medicine (using drugs and surgery), herbal medicine, acupuncture (using needles at certain points of the body), homoeopathy (using minute doses of poisons), and so on. How important is the patient's mental attitude towards his/her treatment in determining the effectiveness of the treatment?
You should write at least 250 words.
You should you your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
Different medical traditions (a list of examples is given)
Patient's mental attitude: the way the patient feels about the treatment
Effectiveness of the treatment: how much better does it make the patient?
Do I think the patient's attitude is important?
What examples can I give where the patient's attitude was important, or irrelevant?
Describe some of the different ways people feel about medical treatment (hopeful, hopeless, trusting, skeptical……).
Say if in your opinion the feelings affect the treatment or not.
Give examples to support your argument about why the treatments were effective or ineffective.
A wide range of medical treatments is available today. Patients may wonder which will be the most effective, and whether their own mental attitude to the type of treatment might affect its success. This essay will consider the second of these questions. - Topic words used. Task of essay explained.
Many people visit their doctor or go to hospital with complete trust in the expert care offered by conventional services. However, some people do not get a satisfactory result. For example, the drugs they are prescribed may have unpleasant side-effects. Their initial positive attitude towards their treatment does them little good. - Idea in both paragraphs: that people may not get what they expect; with examples.
Similarly, those patients who trustfully choose alternative treatments over traditional medicine may find themselves disillusioned. Less rigorous qualification standards among alternative practitioners may mean that some healers give ineffective or damaging advice. The result, again, is that a patient who entered treatment with confidence leaves that treatment disillusioned.
On the other hand, patients may try a style of treatment with some skepticism. A person used to conventional medicines and drugs may be suspicious of treatments based on diet and lifestyle changes. Yet if they follow such programs, they may in fact notice improvements in their conditions, in spite of their skepticism. Equally, a patient opposed to conventional medicine may have an accident and be saved by the effective treatment of conventional emergency services. - Idea: that something you don't like can still help you.
In conclusion, it appears that the mental attitude of the patient is not the most significant factor in determining the outcome of the treatment. Patients who enter treatment confidently may leave disillusioned while those who begin treatment skeptical of the results may find themselves surprised with what they have gained. Patients should seek the advantages which each style of care can offer. - Main argument of essay is stated.
Remember: this sample answer is one of several satisfactory ways to answer the question. Other essays which respond to the writing task would also be acceptable.
Source: Prepare for IELTS, by Vanessa Todd & Penny Cameron, 1996, UTS, Australia. For non-profit educational use only.