The purpose of this study was to explore GPs' perspectives on giving bad news during consultations. To this end, 168 GPs were asked to recall, and record on the first page of a questionnaire, an occasion when they had given medically related bad news to a patient. The stories were analysed with a qualitative and interpretative approach. Two axes, each with a semantic polarity, were identified: a relational axis (semantic polarity: escape vs accompanying) and an ethical axis (semantic polarity: the doctor's choice vs the patient's choice). Furthermore, two main topics appeared to be common to almost all the narratives: the need to reassure the patient and the account of the doctor's emotions. Two different relational patterns appear to be described by doctors. A substantial number of GPs implicitly describe a disease- or doctor-centred consultation: in these cases the physicians refer to signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatments; they decide for themselves whether to tell the truth or not. On the other hand, a smaller number describe consultations that could be defined as patient centred: these doctors consider that their duty of care for the individual ill person is paramount and try to respect the patient's right to decide. In both these relational patterns, GPs feel it is a fundamental professional duty to reassure the patient; furthermore, they feel the most difficult aspect is managing their own emotional responses.

Giving bad news : a GPs’ narrative perspective / E. Vegni, L. Zannini, S. Visioli, E.A. Moja. - In: SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER. - ISSN 0941-4355. - 9:5(2001 Jul), pp. 390-396. [10.1007/s005200100236]

Giving bad news : a GPs’ narrative perspective

E. Vegni;L. Zannini;S. Visioli;E.A. Moja
2001-07

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore GPs' perspectives on giving bad news during consultations. To this end, 168 GPs were asked to recall, and record on the first page of a questionnaire, an occasion when they had given medically related bad news to a patient. The stories were analysed with a qualitative and interpretative approach. Two axes, each with a semantic polarity, were identified: a relational axis (semantic polarity: escape vs accompanying) and an ethical axis (semantic polarity: the doctor's choice vs the patient's choice). Furthermore, two main topics appeared to be common to almost all the narratives: the need to reassure the patient and the account of the doctor's emotions. Two different relational patterns appear to be described by doctors. A substantial number of GPs implicitly describe a disease- or doctor-centred consultation: in these cases the physicians refer to signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatments; they decide for themselves whether to tell the truth or not. On the other hand, a smaller number describe consultations that could be defined as patient centred: these doctors consider that their duty of care for the individual ill person is paramount and try to respect the patient's right to decide. In both these relational patterns, GPs feel it is a fundamental professional duty to reassure the patient; furthermore, they feel the most difficult aspect is managing their own emotional responses.
giving bad news ; general practicioner ; narratives ; qualitative study
Settore M-PSI/08 - Psicologia Clinica
http://www.springerlink.com/content/74h9rm4hvbnuc011/?p=d7863a156eb54372bd906e6a1258130d&pi=11
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/31554
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