VIEWS OF MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS IN OWO ON BREAKING BAD NEWS TO THEIR PATIENTS
C. O. OMOLASE *
Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
A. O. ADESOKAN
Department of Psychiatry, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
A. O. ADENIJI
Department of ENT, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
J. M. AFOLAYAN
Department of Anaesthesia, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
A. A. OPOOLA
Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
B. O. OMOLASE
Department of Radiology, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Aim: This study aimed at determining the attitude of the respondents to breaking bad news and their views on training needs in the art of communication in medical practice.
Methods: This study was conducted over a period of six months between June and November, 2012 among different cadres of Medical Practitioners working at Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee of the hospital prior to commencement of this study. Informed consent was obtained from each of the respondents. The questionnaire used was derived from modification of the study instrument (questionnaire) used in similar studies. The questionnaires were modified to suite the aims of this study and also to conform with the peculiarities of our own environment. The information obtained included their bio-data, their attitude to communication of bad news and their views on training in communication skills. The data obtained with the aid of the study instrument (questionnaire) was collated and analyzed with SPSS 15.0.1 statistical soft ware version. Cross tabulation was done as well as chi- square test. Statistical significance was set as P < 0.05.
Results: 85 out of the 100 Medical Practitioners that collected the questionnaire returned their filled questionnaire. The age range of the respondents was 25-70 years with a mean age of 36.55 years±8.4 years. The median age was 34 years and the mode was 34 years. There were 71 males and 14 females. Most respondents; 75(88.2%) had conveyed bad news in the year preceding this study while few; 10 (11.8%) had not. Majority of the respondents; 83(97.7%) expressed support for inclusion of training in communication skills in medical curriculum while the remaining 2 (2.4%) were not in support.
Conclusion: Less than half of the respondents were comfortable with their performance in breaking bad news. Majority of the respondents were in support of inclusion of training in communication skills in medical curriculum.
Keywords: Communication skills, attitude, medical practice, Nigeria