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Title: Patient satisfaction with doctor-patient interaction in a radiotherapy centre during the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak
Authors: Back, Michael ;Tang, J.I.;Shakespeare, T.P.;Zhang, X.J.;Lu, J.J.;Liang, S.;Wynne, C.J.;Mukherjee, R.K.
Issue Date: Aug-2005
Source: Volume 49, Issue 4, pp. 304 - 311
Journal title: Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Abstract: An outpatient radiotherapy department assessed how precautions implemented during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak affected patient satisfaction with doctor-patient interaction and explored variables potentially influencing satisfaction. The information obtained would help prepare us for future infectious disease outbreaks. Outpatients seen during the outbreak completed a validated questionnaire assessing satisfaction with doctor-patient interaction. Additional items assessed included patients' perception of SARS measures and patient demographics. Of 149 patients, 97% had heard of SARS, 92% believed SARS precautions necessary, and 54% believed contracting SARS was possible despite the precautions. Patients were satisfied with doctors wearing masks (97%), temperature checks (97%), and patients wearing masks (96%). Despite the high satisfaction levels with SARS precautions, 24% believed it had adversely affected doctor-patient interaction. With regards to doctor-patient interaction, 94% of patients were satisfied. Patients were most satisfied with the 'information exchange' domain (mean score 3.23 out of 4) compared to other domains (P < 0.0001, 100.00% confidence) and were less satisfied with the 'empathy' domain compared to other domains (P < 0.0001, 100.00% confidence). Patients were most satisfied with understanding their treatment plan (100%), doctor being honest (97%) and being understood (96%). Patients were least satisfied with information about caring for their illness (61%), that the visit could be better (59%), and the doctor showing more interest (58%). On multivariate analysis, patients who were less satisfied with SARS measures were significantly less satisfied with doctor-patient interaction (P = 0.0001). Dissatisfaction with SARS measures was associated with significant dissatisfaction for questions in all domains. Older age and non-breast cancer patients were also less satisfied with doctor-patient interaction. Most (94%) of patients were satisfied with doctor-patient interaction, despite implementation of infectious disease prevention measures. However, patients who were dissatisfied with the SARS precautions had poorer satisfaction. In particular, physician empathy appeared to be most adversely affected. The results have relevance to any radiotherapy department preparing contingency plans in the event of infectious disease outbreaks.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1673.2005.01467.x
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Infection Control
Appears in Collections:Oncology / Cancer

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