96 research outputs found

    Physicians' communication skills with patients and legal liability in decided medical malpractice litigation cases in Japan

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In medical malpractice litigations in recent years in Japan, it is notable that the growing number of medical litigation cases includes the issue of a doctor's explanation to the patient as a pivotal point. The objective of this study was to identify factors of physicians' communication skills with patients, as related to their legal liability, and differences in doctors' communication skills with patients by the type of medical facility.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Decisions of medical malpractice litigation cases between 1988 and 2005 in Japan, the pivotal issue of which was a physician's explanation, were analyzed in the study. The content of each decision was summarized using the study variables (information about the patient, doctor, manner of the doctor's explanation, and subsequent litigation), and a database comprising the content of each decision (<it>N </it>= 100) was constructed. In order to evaluate an association between doctors' communication skills with patients and the outcome of the litigation, the analysis was performed based on the outcome of litigation or the type of medical facility.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The ratio of acknowledged physician liability by court decision was lower in cases in which the doctor's explanation occurred before treatment or surgery (<it>p </it>= 0.013). The ratio of acknowledged physician liability by court decision was higher in cases of elective or non-urgent treatment (<it>p </it>= 0.046). The ratio of acknowledged physician liability by court decision was higher in clinics than in hospital groups (<it>p </it>= 0.036).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These findings are beneficial for the prevention of medical disputes and improvement of patient-physician communication.</p

    Physicians' explanatory behaviours and legal liability in decided medical malpractice litigation cases in Japan

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>A physician's duty to provide an adequate explanation to the patient is derived from the doctrine of informed consent and the physician's duty of disclosure. However, findings are extremely limited with respect to physicians' specific explanatory behaviours and what might be regarded as a breach of the physicians' duty to explain in an actual medical setting. This study sought to identify physicians' explanatory behaviours that may be related to the physicians' legal liability.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We analysed legal decisions of medical malpractice cases between 1990 and 2009 in which the pivotal issue was the physician's duty to explain (366 cases). To identify factors related to the breach of the physician's duty to explain, an analysis was undertaken based on acknowledged breaches with regard to the physician's duty to explain to the patient according to court decisions. Additionally, to identify predictors of physicians' behaviours in breach of the duty to explain, logistic regression analysis was performed.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>When the physician's explanation was given before treatment or surgery (<it>p </it>= 0.006), when it was relevant or specific (<it>p </it>= 0.000), and when the patient's consent was obtained (<it>p </it>= 0.002), the explanation was less likely to be deemed inadequate or a breach of the physician's duty to explain. Patient factors related to physicians' legally problematic explanations were patient age and gender. One physician factor was related to legally problematic physician explanations, namely the number of physicians involved in the patient's treatment.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These findings may be useful in improving physician-patient communication in the medical setting.</p

    Psychological process from hospitalization to death among uninformed terminal liver cancer patients in Japan

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    BACKGROUND: Although the attitude among doctors toward disclosing a cancer diagnosis is becoming more positive, informing patients of their disease has not yet become a common practice in Japan. We examined the psychological process, from hospitalization until death, among uninformed terminal cancer patients in Japan, and developed a psychological model. METHODS: Terminal cancer patients hospitalized during the recruiting period voluntarily participated in in-depth interviews. The data were analyzed by grounded theory. RESULTS: Of the 87 uninformed participants at the time of hospitalization, 67% (N = 59) died without being informed of their diagnosis. All were male, 51–66 years of age, and all experienced five psychological stages: anxiety and puzzlement, suspicion and denial, certainty, preparation, and acceptance. At the end of each stage, obvious and severe feelings were observed, which were called "gates." During the final acceptance stage, patients spent a peaceful time with family, even talking about their dreams with family members. CONCLUSION: Unlike in other studies, the uninformed patients in this study accepted death peacefully, with no exceptional cases. Despite several limitations, this study showed that almost 70% of the uninformed terminal cancer patients at hospitalization died without being informed, suggesting an urgent need for culturally specific and effective terminal care services for cancer patients in Japan

    The health impact of remarriage behavior on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: findings from the US longitudinal survey

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major disease among adults, and its deterioration was reported to be associated with psychological imbalance. Meanwhile, bereavement and divorce have proven harmful to the health status of a surviving spouse. But few studies have been conducted to evaluate the remedial effect on survivors' health outcome by remarriage after bereavement. The present study thus examined the associations between remarriage and the onset of COPD.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Our cohort was drawn from Health and Retirement Study participants in the United States, and consisted of 2676 subjects who were divorced or bereaved from 1992 to 2002. We then followed them for up to 11 years and assessed the incidence rate of COPD using a Cox proportional hazard model after adjusting for marital status, age, gender, education and the number of cigarettes smoked.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Among all subjects, 224 who remarried after bereavement or divorce tended to be younger and more male dominated. Remarriage after bereavement/divorce was associated with significantly decreased risk of COPD onset for overall subjects [hazard ratio (HR): 0.51, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.28-0.94], female subjects [HR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.13-0.98], and for those under 70 years old [HR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.17-0.79].</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>This study investigates the impact of remarriage on health outcome based on a large-scale population survey and indicates that remarriage significantly correlates with reduced risk of COPD incidence, even after adjusting smoking habit.</p

    Poor adherence to medication as assessed by the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8 and low satisfaction with treatment in 237 psoriasis patients

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    Previously we assessed the medication adherence for oral and topical remedies by a translated Japanese version of the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8 (MMAS-8) together with socioeconomic backgrounds in 3096 Japanese dermatological patients, and found the medication adherence, especially to topical drugs, was poor in these patients. In order to elucidate the disease-specific sociomedical factors, we further sub-analyzed the medication adherence in 237 psoriasis patients and compared it with that in other dermatological diseases such as atopic dermatitis, urticaria or tinea. This study was conducted among patients registered in monitoring system and 3096 eligible patients were enrolled. Our web-based questionnaire included the following items such as age, sex, annual income, main health-care institution, experience of effectiveness by oral or topical medication, overall satisfaction with treatment, and MMAS-8 for oral or topical medication. Mean adherence score by MMAS-8 was 5.2 for oral and 4.3 for topical medication. More patients with psoriasis used a university hospital and fewer used a private clinic compared with those with the other skin disease patients. Experience of drug effectiveness by oral medication and overall satisfaction with treatment was lower in psoriasis patients than in other patients. In oral medication, significantly better adherence was observed in those of higher age and with higher annual income. The adherence to medication, especially to topical drugs, was poor in 237 psoriasis patients. We speculated that some severe psoriasis patients were not sufficiently treated systemically and were resistant to topical therapy, leading to poor adherence