Effect of breaking bad news on patients' perceptions of doctors
UNSPECIFIED. (2002) Effect of breaking bad news on patients' perceptions of doctors. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE, 95 (7). pp. 343-347. ISSN 0141-0768Full text not available from this repository.
The breaking of bad news is a routine but difficult task for many health professionals, There are numerous anecdotes of insensitive practice but the subject has attracted little systematic research. We therefore interviewed 106 patients with advanced cancer (from an original sample of 195) to assess their perceptions of the doctors involved in their care. Aspects of the 'breaking bad news' event were recorded during discussion of the illness history and were subsequently rated. Participants were also asked to nominate doctors under the headings 'most helpful' and 'less helpful', and completed standardized psychological screening questionnaires.
In 94 of the 106 cases the bad news had been given by a doctor, usually a surgeon. Of the 13 doctors categorized as 'most helpful' when breaking bad news, 8 were general practitioners; of the 7 categorized as 'less helpful' all were surgeons. 69% of patients were neutral or positive about the bad-news consultation, but 20% were negative and 6% very negative. Doctors in surgical specialties were significantly more likely to be rated poorly than nonsurgical specialists or general practitioners.
Surgeons were the group of doctors most likely to break bad news, but non-surgical doctors were rated more positively in performance of the task. This finding has implications for training.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Journal or Publication Title:||JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE|
|Publisher:||ROYAL SOC MEDICINE PRESS LTD|
|Official Date:||July 2002|
|Number of Pages:||5|
|Page Range:||pp. 343-347|
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