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Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Sep;96(3):352-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.07.016. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

The impact of the hospital work environment on social support from physicians in breast cancer care.

Author information

1
Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Electronic address: lena.ansmann@uk-koeln.de.
2
Institute of Psychology, University of Education Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
3
Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
4
Knowledge Center Innovations in Care, Applied University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Research on determinants of a good patient-physician interaction mainly disregards systemic factors, such as the work environment in healthcare. This study aims to identify stressors and resources within the work environment of hospital physicians that enable or hinder the physicians' provision of social support to patients.

METHODS:

Four data sources on 35 German breast cancer center hospitals were matched: structured hospital quality reports and surveys of 348 physicians, 108 persons in hospital leadership, and 1844 patients. Associations between hospital structures, physicians' social resources as well as job demands and control and patients' perceived support from physicians have been studied in multilevel models.

RESULTS:

Patients feel better supported by their physicians in hospitals with high social capital, a high percentage of permanently employed physicians, and less physically strained physicians.

CONCLUSION:

The results highlight the importance of the work environment for a good patient-physician interaction. They can be used to develop interventions for redesigning the hospital work environment, which in turn may improve physician satisfaction, well-being, and performance and consequently the quality of care.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Health policy and hospital management could create conditions conducive to better patient-physician interaction by strengthening the social capital and by increasing job security for physicians.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Multilevel analysis; Patient–physician interaction; Social capital; Support; Work environment

PMID:
25082725
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2014.07.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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