Breaking Bad News: A Valid Concern among Clinicians
Objective: Delivering bad news is the duty of specialist physicians. However, they find it very difficult due to insufficient experience. In this study, the way faculty and residents of Guilan University of Medical Sciences (GUMS) delivered bad news to the patients was investigated.
Method: This study was conducted at hospitals affiliated to GUMS during 2017. A questionnaire containing 18 items on environmental and psychical support was filled through a face to face interview. The ﬁrst 10 questions evaluated psychical support and the next eight environmental supports. The scoring of each question ranged from 10 to 50, with 10 indicating “never” and 50 “always”.
Results: According to the analysis of 235 questionnaires, only 32 (13.6%) of the participants had been taught to deliver bad news and 195(83%) felt they need educational courses. Also, 40 (17%) believed that they had enough ability to deliver these massages. No significant differences were observed among physicians who had taken teaching courses in breaking bad news to patients.
Conclusion: This study revealed that educational courses to improve physicians’ communication skill to break bad news to patients are strongly warranted.
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