Evaluation of general physicians’ skills in breaking bad news to the patient based on the SPIKES Questionnaire in Qom, 2016
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Ph.D. Candidate of Medical Education, Faculty medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Associate Professor of medical education, Educational Development Centre (EDC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor of surgery, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran
Assistant Professor of Department of Reproductive Health, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran
Master of Librarianship and Informing, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran
Publish date: 2018-12-28
Electron J Gen Med 2019;16(1):em103
Breaking bad and unpleasant news by physician to patient or his or her family is a key moment in communication between a physician and the patient. It is often necessary for physicians to breaking bad and unpleasant news to the patient or his or her family. The objective of this study was to evaluate the skill of general physicians in breaking bad and unpleasant news to the patient based on the SPIKES questionnaire in educational hospitals of Qom University of Medical Sciences in 2016.

This descriptive-analytical study was conducted on 200 general physicians. Convenient sampling method was used in this study. Data were collected using standard Spikes Questionnaire and data were analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistical tests through SPSSv21 software.

Most of the subjects were male (69.5%), married (85.1%), and had no history of receiving formal education about breaking bad news to the patient. The mean and standard deviation of the subjects were 37.43±4.02 years. The mean and standard deviation of the score of the skill of breaking bad news were 63.56 ± 6.51. While independent t test showed significant difference in mean and standard deviation of score of the skill of breaking bad news between the two groups (p <0.05), no significant difference was reported between two groups in terms of two variables of gender and clinic place (p >0.05). Moreover, using variance analysis, a significant difference was found in mean score of breaking bad news in different age groups with different employment history (p <0.05).

The research results revealed that the skill level of the research samples was relatively at desirable level. Given the lack of receiving formal education by general physicians and the impact of breaking bad news from physician to patients and their caregivers on the type of relationship between the physician and the patient, it is recommended to put more emphasis on continuous education programs, designed especially for general physicians.

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