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BMJ Open. 2012 Nov 29;2(6). pii: e001562. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001562. Print 2012.

Patients' silence towards the healthcare system after ethical transgressions by staff: associations with patient characteristics in a cross-sectional study among Swedish female patients.

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  • 1Gender and Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To identify which patient characteristics are associated with silence towards the healthcare system after experiences of abusive or ethically wrongful transgressive behaviour by healthcare staff.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional questionnaire study using the Transgressions of Ethical Principles in Health Care Questionnaire.

SETTING:

A women's clinic in the south of Sweden.

PARTICIPANTS:

Selection criteria were: consecutive female patients coming for an outpatient appointment, ≥18-year-old, with the ability to speak and understand the Swedish language, and a known address. Questionnaires were answered by 534 women (60%) who had visited the clinic, of which 293 were included in the present study sample.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE:

How many times the respondent remained silent towards the healthcare system relative to the number of times the respondent spoke up.

RESULTS:

Associations were found between patients' silence towards the healthcare system and young age as well as lower self-rated knowledge of patient rights. Both variables showed independent effects on patients' silence in a multivariate model. No associations were found with social status, country of birth, health or other abuse.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results offer opportunities for designing interventions to stimulate patients to speak up and open up the clinical climate, for which the responsibility lies in the hands of staff; but more research is needed.

PMID:
23204076
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3532985
Free PMC Article
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