Gaps in doctor patient communication: a community based study


  • Sebastian N. M. Department of Community Medicine, MES Medical College, Perinthalmanna, Kerala
  • Jesha M. M. Department of Community Medicine, MES Medical College, Perinthalmanna, Kerala
  • Sheela P. Haveri Department of Community Medicine, MES Medical College, Perinthalmanna, Kerala
  • Arya S. Nath Biostatistics, MES Medical College, Kerala



Doctor-patient communication, Medical Education, Interpersonal relationship, Competence


Background: Doctor-patient communication is an important predictor of the outcome of treatment but this aspect is not adequately addressed in medical education currently. Many studies have shown that doctors fail to communicate satisfactorily during consultation. This study aims to identify the gaps in doctor patient communication as felt by patients, by studying what percentage of patients are satisfied with the behavior and information provided by consulting doctors.

Methods:The study method used was community based cross sectional, by collecting information by interviewing 105 patients who had consulted a doctor in the previous 15 days. The study used a semi structured pretested questionnaire on whether the patients are satisfied with the outcome of consultation, behavior of consulting doctors, the information provided during consultation and the additional information that the patients wanted from their doctors.

Results: The results show that 39% of patients are not satisfied with the outcome of consultation and behavior of doctors and also that sufficient information are not provided to patients in many cases. Patients had suggestions like need for more time for communication, to be friendlier, to use simple language, clearing fears and worries, not to be money oriented, and to provide more privacy.

Conclusions:Gaps exist in doctor patient communication and needs to be addressed in medical education.


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How to Cite

M., S. N., M., J. M., Haveri, S. P., & Nath, A. S. (2017). Gaps in doctor patient communication: a community based study. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 3(1), 264–269.



Original Research Articles