Patients’ Preferences and Attitudes Toward Receiving Bad Medical News: A Quantitative Study from Guilan Academic Hospitals

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

 Breaking bad medical news is one of the most difficult tasks of physicians. In this regard, communication skills play a vital role.


 This study aimed to investigate patients’ preferences and attitudes toward receiving bad medical news in academic hospitals affiliated with Guilan University of Medical Sciences.


 This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on patients over 18 years of age from March 2021 to December 2021. A questionnaire taken from Alrukban’s study regarding patients’ demographic characteristics, preferences, and tendencies while receiving bad news was filled out through a face-to-face interview.


 In this study, 600 patients were interviewed, 96% of which preferred to know their disease diagnosis, 76.2% preferred to be the first person to receive bad news, and employed individuals with younger ages and higher levels of education significantly preferred to be the recipients of illness news. Furthermore, 40.7% of patients preferred not to be accompanied by anyone when receiving bad news, 82.3% preferred to be broken bad news by the head of the medical team, and 50.8%, particularly female, younger, and employed patients, preferred the physician to start the conversation containing some information about the disease. Also, younger female patients significantly preferred the physician to stay with them and provide additional information after presenting the diagnosis in a completely private space.


 Most patients preferred to know about their diagnosis. The impact of socio-demographical variables, including age, gender, level of education, and marital status, should be considered when breaking bad news.

Jundishapur Journal of Health Sciences, Volume:15 Issue: 3, Jul 2023
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