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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Apr-Jun;26(2):87-93. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_13_19.

Patient-Doctor relationship in underserved environment: A cross-sectional study of attitudinal orientation, practice inclination, barriers and benefits among medical practitioners in Abia State, Nigeria.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Nigeria.
2
Department of Family Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
3
Department of Community Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
4
Department of Community Medicine, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.
5
Department of Anaesthesiology, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Nigeria.

Abstract

Background:

Healthcare has become complex requiring balance of ever-increasing demands on physicians against humanness of medicine. As the impetus for the delivery of patient-centred care grows, there is need to study the attitude and practice orientations of medical practitioners to patient-doctor relationship (PDR). The study was aimed at describing the attitude, practice, barriers and benefits of PDR among medical practitioners in Abia State.

Participants and Methods:

A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on 210 medical practitioners in Abia State who were consecutively recruited for the study. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaire that elicited information on attitude, practice, barriers and benefits of PDR. Attitude was assessed with the 18-item Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) with subscales of caring and sharing.

Results:

The age of the participants ranged from 26 to 77 years with the mean of 36 ± 8.4 years. There were 173 (82.4%) male. The caring attitude score (mean = 3.57 ± 0.80) was higher than sharing (mean = 3.42 ± 0.65) (P = 0.036). Practice was predominantly doctor-centred (86.7%) than patient-centred (64.3%, P < 0.0001). The most common barrier to PDR was patient-doctor communication, while the most common benefit of PDR was improvement in patient satisfaction. Medical practitioners with duration of practice <10 years had significantly higher mean scores in attitudinal subscale of caring when compared with those with duration of practice ≥10 years (P < 0.0001). The study participants with duration of practice ≥10 years had significantly higher adequate practice (75.0%) of patient-centred care when compared with their counterparts with duration of practice <10 years (47.6%) (P = 0.00005).

Conclusion:

The attitude to caring did not translate to comparative disposition to sharing. The practice was more doctor-centred than patient-centred. The most common barrier and benefit of PDR were communication drawbacks and improvement in patient satisfaction, respectively. Duration of practice was associated with caring attitude and practice of patient-centred care, respectively.

KEYWORDS:

Attitude; Nigeria; barriers; benefits; medical practitioners; practice patient–doctor relationship

PMID:
31187747
DOI:
10.4103/npmj.npmj_13_19
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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