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Data from: Difficult patient-doctor encounters in a Swiss university outpatient clinic: a cross-sectional study.

Cite this dataset

Mota Moya, Pau et al. (2018). Data from: Difficult patient-doctor encounters in a Swiss university outpatient clinic: a cross-sectional study. [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8tg194r

Abstract

Introduction: Previous research has shown that multiple factors contribute to healthcare providers perceiving encounters as difficult, and are related to both medical and non-medical demands. Aim: To measure the prevalence and to identify predictors of encounters perceived as difficult by medical residents. Design and Setting: Cross-sectional study at the Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine (DACCM), a university outpatient clinic with a long tradition of caring for vulnerable patients. Method: We identified difficult doctor-patient encounters using the validated Difficult Doctor-Patient Relationship Questionnaire (DDPRQ-10), and characterized patients using the Patient’s Vulnerability Grid, a validated questionnaire measuring 5 domains of vulnerability, both completed by medical residents after each encounter. We used a multiple linear regression model with the outcome variable as the DDPRQ-10 score, controlling for resident characteristics. Participants: We analyzed 527 patient encounters performed by all 27 DACCM residents (17 women and 10 men). We asked each medical resident to evaluate 20 consecutive consultations starting on the same date. Outcome: One hundred and fifty-seven encounters (29,8%) were perceived as difficult. Results: After adjusting for differences among residents, all five domains of the Patient Vulnerability Grid were independently associated with a difficult encounter: frequent health care user; psychological comorbidity; health comorbidity; risky behaviors and a precarious social situation. Conclusion: Nearly a third of encounters were perceived as difficult by medical residents in our university outpatient clinic that cares for a high proportion of vulnerable patients. This represents twice the average ratio of difficult encounters in general practice. All five domains of patient vulnerability appear to have partial explanatory power on medical residents’ perception of difficult patient encounters.

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