À propos de cet article


Introduction: The necessity to deliver bad news to patients is one of the classic challenges of medical communication. The applicable patient rights oblige doctors to communicate full information concerning adverse condition tactfully and cautiously. The purpose of the study was to determine the level of knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of the patient in people who had received bad news, to identify the fields in which knowledge is lacking and to check if the level of knowledge affected the patient’s behaviour.

Materials and methods: The study was conducted with 314 people who had been given bad news. An original Computer-Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) online survey questionnaire was used. Reaching the respondents was possible thanks to our cooperation with national patient organisations and electronic media.

Results: One in 5 respondents (21%) was characterised by little knowledge concerning patient rights and responsibilities; 67% had a moderate level of knowledge or were almost fully aware of their rights. A vast majority of the respondents knew that they were entitled to full information about their condition, prognosis and treatment, as well as an inspection of their medical documentation.

Conclusions: The knowledge of patient rights seems to be at an unsatisfactory level. Respondents with a higher education and those suffering from cancer had more knowledge. Patients with little or a moderate level of knowledge of patient rights and responsibilities were more likely to change their attending physicians or discontinue their treatments.

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Sujets de la revue:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other, Clinical Medicine, Surgery, Public Health