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Soc Sci Med. 2002 Jul;55(2):301-11.

Physician-patient communication and patient satisfaction in Japanese cancer consultations.

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Department of Health Sociology, School of Health Sciences and Nursing, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Japan.


Over the past few decades, physician-patient communication has been intensively studied in western countries, because of its importance for the physician-patient relationship and patient health outcomes. Although various concepts and models of this relationship have recently been introduced in Japan, there are few studies on Japanese physician-patient interaction. The purpose of this study is to describe characteristics of physician-patient communication in a Japanese cancer consultation, and to examine the relation of this interaction with patient satisfaction. One hundred and forty cancer outpatients and twelve physicians were included. The Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS), one of the most frequently used systems for analyzing physician-patient interaction, was applied, physicians made more utterances directing the interaction than patients did, and their discussion was largely focused on biomedical topics. It can be concluded that the structure of the physician-patient interaction in our study was basically similar to those in previous western studies, although some differences were also found. The relation between physician-patient communication and patient satisfaction was generally consistent with previous studies. Patients were more satisfied with consultations in which the physician used more open-ended questions. On the other hand, physician direction and encouragement was negatively associated with patient satisfaction. Also, patients who asked more questions were less satisfied with the consultation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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