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Patient-physician communication during oncology consultations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
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2008 (English)In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 17, no 10, 975-985 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to characterize the content of patient-physician communication in standard oncology care. METHODS: The sample consisted of 19 patients with gastrointestinal cancer. The consultations were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed according to qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: The analysis resulted in seven main categories: Disease and treatment, Healthcare planning, Everyday living, Psychological well-being, Coping with disease, Expressions of concerns and feelings, and Other aspects of communication. The main focus during the consultations was on disease and treatment. Physicians tended to concentrate on response to treatment and types and severity of side effects and how to treat them. More patient-centered subjects of psychosocial character like coping and psychological well-being were discussed only briefly, if at all. CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the information given by the existing communication analysis systems, and hence we suggest a development of the psychosocial content categories of those systems to make them more valid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 17, no 10, 975-985 p.
Keyword [en]
cancer, oncology, patient-physician communication, consultation, qualitative
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-86840DOI: 10.1002/pon.1410ISI: 000260351000003PubMedID: 18677715OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-86840DiVA: diva2:127499
Available from: 2008-12-08 Created: 2008-12-08 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Patient-Physician Communication in Oncology Care: The character of, barriers against, and ways to evaluate patient-physician communication, with focus on the psychosocial dimensions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Patient-Physician Communication in Oncology Care: The character of, barriers against, and ways to evaluate patient-physician communication, with focus on the psychosocial dimensions
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to characterize patient-physician communication in oncology care with focus on the content and quality of the consultations from the perspectives of patients, oncologists and observer. Further, the aim was to explore oncologists’ perceived barriers against psychosocial communication in out-patient consultations. Finally, the aim was to evaluate different methods for evaluating communication in this setting.

Routine oncology out-patient consultations from two different hospitals were audio-recorded. After the consultations, patients and oncologists perceptions of the content and quality of the communication were assessed using a self-report questionnaire. A nation-wide survey was performed to assess oncologists’ perceived barriers against psychosocial communication. Finally, the audio-recorded consultations were used for evaluating inter-rater reliability and feasibility of two different communication analysis instruments.

Patient-physician consultations in oncology care are focused on the physical aspects of disease and treatment, both in terms of how often these issues were discussed and in terms of the amount of time spent on discussing them. Psychosocial issues, such as the disease’s effects on patients’ emotional or social functioning, are not always discussed during consultations, and the time spent on such discussions is limited. When psychosocial issues are discussed during the medical consultations, they are most often patient-initiated. Reasons for why psychosocial aspects are seldom discussed during the medical consultations can be the barriers concerning this kind of communication perceived by a large majority (93%) of the oncologists. Barriers against psychosocial communication were identified at organizational levels (including guidelines, routines, and resources) and individual levels (including physicians’ knowledge and attitudes).

Furthermore, this thesis shows that there are methods with high feasibility and reliability for evaluating the content of patient-physician communication, in large study samples in oncology care. The method (observation/self-report) and perspective (patient, physician, and observer) used when evaluating communication affects the results. This needs to be considered when choosing evaluation methods in intervention studies.

There are reasons to continue to evaluate, promote and implement promising ways of achieving better communication in clinical practice. Research should focus on how to overcome barriers against psychosocial communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 91 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Pharmacy, ISSN 1651-6192 ; 167
Keyword
patient-physician communication, barriers, psychosocial, content analysis systems, clinical practice, communication
National Category
Social and Clinical Pharmacy Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Social Pharmacy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183841 (URN)978-91-554-8543-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-21, Auditorium Minus, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-03 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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