Bp.14 Patients’ Attitudes Toward Breaking Bad News In Family Medicine Practice

Author(s): 
S. Karup, Z. Jatic, M. Avdic, S. Trninic
Public Institution Health Centre of Canton Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Text: 
Background.
Breaking bad news is one of a physician’s most difficult duties; yet medical education typically offers little formal preparation for this daunting task. Without proper training, the discomfort and uncertainty associated with breaking bad news may lead physicians to emotionally disengage from patients. Numerous study results show that patients generally desire frank and empathetic disclosure of a terminal diagnosis or other bad news. Similar research has never been done in our country.
Aim.
The aim of this survey was to explore patient attitude toward breaking bad news in case of serious illness-cancer.
Methods.
Anonymous survey was done in family medicine teaching centre. Place: Family medicine Teaching Centre Visnjik, Sarajevo Population: 160 patients were questioned randomly during one month (May 2001) while coming on scheduled exams. Questionnaire consisted data about age, sex, marital status, educational level and social status. Patients were supposed to answer seven questions marking yes or no answer.
Results.
Out of 160 patients 125 of them (78.1%) want to know the diagnosis of cancer and 35 (21.9%) do not. Treatment and prognosis want to know 129 patients (80.6%). 10% of them (6.3%) have already suffered cancer and were cured and out of that number 9 (90%) still wants to know the diagnosis. Most of them wish to hear the truth from hospital clinician (61.3%), and 25% from family physician.
Conclusion.
Patients have mainly open attitude toward breaking bad news considering malignant diseases, although some percent of them disagree. They want to hear the truth mainly from clinician.
Literature: 
BP.14 PATIENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD BREAKING BAD NEWS IN FAMILY MEDICINE PRACTICE