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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


MOORE, Philippa; VARGAS, Alex; NUNEZ, Salomón  y  MACCHIAVELLO, Stefano. A study of hospital complaints and the role of the doctor-patient communication. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2011, vol.139, n.7, pp.880-885. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Medical practice in Chile has changed dramatically over the last few years. Patients have raised their expectations and there is a growing number of complaints, and malpractice lawsuits. The doctor-patient relationship plays a fundamental role in patient satisfaction and has also been identified as an issue in most medical lawsuits. Aim: To analyze the importance of doctor-patient communication in the complaints received in a university hospital in Chile. Material and Methods: Review ofall complaints received at the office for quality of care at a university hospital. Complaints classified in delay, manners and information categories were selected for further analysis. Results: Of a total of8931 complaints registered between 2001 and 2008, 635 (19%) involved a doctor. Fifty one per cent of the latter, were related to the doctor-patient relationship. Of these, 146 cases (45%) were further classified as "Dysfunctional delivery of Information", 74 cases (23%) as "Not understanding the patient/'family's perspective", 54 cases (17%) as "Discrediting the patient or family's views" and 49 cases (15%) as "Lack of communication". Conclusions: The percentage of complaints related to communication with the doctor is high, though lower than cited in other studies. The most common complaint is the dysfunctional delivery of information.

Palabras clave : Communication; Patient satisfaction; Physician-patient relations; Professional impairment.

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