A Qualitative Study on the Importance and Value of Doctor-Patient Relationship in Iran: Physicians' Views
Keywords:Doctor-patient relationship, Agency, Health systems, Qualitative study
BACKGROUND: Doctor-patient relationship [DPR] refers to verbal and non-verbal communication between doctor and patient, which is of great importance in consultation sessions.
AIM: Therefore, the present study attempts to explore the importance and value of DPR in Iran.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The method used in the study was conventional content analysis. The data were collected from 21 faculty members (FMs) of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS), Shiraz, Iran, who participated in three focus group discussions (FGDs). Transcribed data were analysed using Conventional Content Analysis (CCA) which identified condensed meaning units, subthemes, and themes.
RESULTS: Four themes were extracted from 198 meaning units, 87 condensed meaning units, and 17 subthemes. These included gateway [the role of DPR]; nonlinearity [the nature of DPR]; distortion (quality of DPR in the context); and dysfunctional system (weakness in health system). Generally, results showed DPR to be the gateway to consultations based on non-verbal communication and doctor empathy. The study showed distorted DPR which was due to the dysfunctionality of the health care system.
CONCLUSION: As indicated DPR plays an important role in medical contexts, but if distorted it leads to an unsuccessful outcome. Therefore, to promote DPR, it is necessary to reinforce its structure. Thus, the infrastructure has to be modified and developed at all levels.
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