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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
Open AccessArticle

The evaluation of physicians’ and patients’ opinion on confidence and confidentiality

1
Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences
2
Institute for Biomedical Research, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010010
Received: 29 August 2007 / Accepted: 8 January 2008 / Published: 13 January 2008
The aim of the study was to compare the opinions of physicians and patients about confidence and confidentiality in inpatient personal healthcare institutions.
Material and methods
. From November 2006 to February 2007, a survey was performed in seven randomly selected hospitals of two counties of Lithuania. The study included all patients who on the day of the inquiry were undergoing treatment in the departments of internal diseases and surgery, as well as all physicians who were working in these departments on that day. The exclusion criteria were severe health condition and recent admission to the department. In total, 494 questionnaires were distributed; 366 of them were distributed among patients (response rate was 71.3%) and 128 among physicians (response rate was 70.3%).
Results
. Nearly all inquired patients (94.2%) stated that they trusted their physician. There were no differences between the physicians’ and the patients’ opinions in this respect. Respectful communication is one of the preconditions for confidence between a physician and a patient. According to the findings of our study, 94.2% of patients thought that physicians communicated with them in a respectful manner, whereas according to 62.8% of physicians, patients communicated with them respectfully, and according to 36% of physicians – partially respectfully. Confidentiality was evidently associated with confidence. According to the findings of our study, 38.3% of patients thought that information about their disease and the results of their medical examinations were classified, but as much as 39.5% of patients did not have any clear opinion on this issue. The majority of the physicians thought that they ensured confidentiality of information about their patients’ health status (97.7%), diagnosis (100%), the findings of medical examinations (100%), applied treatment methods (97.7%), and prognosis of treatment (94.2%).
Conclusions
. Patients evaluated their confidence in physicians very highly. Both physicians and patients provided positive evaluations of mutual communication. The situation with information provided to the patients and the confidentiality of the results of medical examinations in inpatient personal healthcare units remains indeterminate. More than one-third (38.3%) of patients thought that information about their disease and the results of medical examinations were classified, whereas 39.5% of patients did not have any clear opinion on this issue. Nearly all of the physicians thought that they ensured the confidentiality of information about their patients, but they also stated that the assurance of the confidentiality of information is the responsibility of all parties involved, including patients themselves, rather than only the medical personnel.
Keywords: physician-patient relationships; confidence; confidentiality; the right to information physician-patient relationships; confidence; confidentiality; the right to information
MDPI and ACS Style

Giedrikaitė, R.; Misevičienė, I.; Jakušovaitė, I. The evaluation of physicians’ and patients’ opinion on confidence and confidentiality. Medicina 2008, 44, 64.

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