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TELLING AND KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS | DEMİRSOY | Türk Dünyası Uygulama ve Araştırma Merkezi Tıp Tarihi ve Etik Dergisi

TELLING AND KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS

Nilüfer DEMİRSOY, Ömür ŞAYLIGİL

Öz


Objectives: It is important to know the truth to ensure the permanence of treatment process, to improve life quality, to enable effective use of limited resources and to provide support and protection of family members. This study is designed to find out the approaches and attitudes of physicians to tell the truth and those of patients to know the truth.

Methodology:  The research group received required permissions from the Faculty of Medicine Deanship and Hospital Directorate at Eskisehir Osmangazi University (ESOGU). Then, inpatients and physicians were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their opinions on telling the truth to patients and knowing the truth. The positive and negative responses to questions concerning the objective of the research in the questionnaire were used to form a pool of items. The items were in 5-likert type. The validity and reliability of the items were tested by distributing them to a sample group composed of 30 physicians and 30 patients (reliability coefficient Cronbach a: 0,82). They were distributed to physicians and patients with appropriate directives and answer choices.

Results:   88,6% of the physicians think that patients must be informed accurately about the diagnosis of their illness. Physicians in surgical wards support the idea that it is of priority to inform patients about their diagnosis more than the physicians working in internal wards. 66,4% of patients want to receive accurate information about their diagnosis.

Conclusion:  Patients have the right to accurate information about medical facts, diagnosis and prognosis and all stages of treatment process. The studies in various countries show that telling the truth about diagnosis to a patients and the difficulties posed by truth-telling have not been clarified yet. Our study also demonstrates dilemmas and differences about truth-telling to patients. Physicians cannot develop a clear approach to truth-telling to patients because they fail to distinguish the integrity and unity of concepts, and they tend to regard patients as a whole rather than evaluating them as separate individuals. 


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