Friday, March 21, 2008

The difficult doctor?

The difficult doctor? Characteristics of physicians who report frustration with patients: an analysis of survey data

BMC Health Services Research 2006, 6:128

Literature on difficult doctor-patient relationships has focused on the "difficult patient." Our objective was to determine physician and practice characteristics associated with greater physician-reported frustration with patients.

We conducted a secondary analysis of the Physicians Worklife Survey, which surveyed a random national sample of physicians. Participants were 1391 family medicine, general internal medicine, and medicine subspecialty physicians. The survey assessed physician and practice characteristics, including stress, depression and anxiety symptoms, practice setting, work hours, case-mix, and control over administrative and clinical practice. Physicians estimated the percentage of their patients who were "generally frustrating to deal with." We categorized physicians by quartile of reported frustrating patients and compared characteristics of physicians in the top quartile to those in the other three quartiles. We used logistic regression to model physician characteristics associated with greater frustration.

Books on Doctors as Patients and a few on the Doctor-Patient Relationship