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Physicians’ Religious Topic Avoidance during Clinical Interactions

Department of Communication Studies, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Department of Communication, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22207, USA
Department of Family Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
Department of Communication, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA
Department of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maureen P. Keeley
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 30;
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 29 April 2017 / Accepted: 30 April 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Communication at the End of Life)
Religious and spiritual (R/S) conversations at the end-of-life function to help patients and their families find comfort in difficult circumstances. Physicians who feel uncertain about how to discuss topics related to religious beliefs may seek to avoid R/S conversations with their patients. This study utilized a two-group objective structured clinical examination with a standardized patient to explore differences in physicians’ use of R/S topic avoidance tactics during a clinical interaction. Results indicated that physicians used more topic avoidance tactics in response to patients’ R/S inquiries than patients’ R/S disclosures; however, the use of topic avoidance tactics did not eliminate the need to engage in patient-initiated R/S interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: communication; religion; clinical interactions communication; religion; clinical interactions
MDPI and ACS Style

Villagran, M.M.; MacArthur, B.L.; Lee, L.E.; Ledford, C.J.W.; Canzona, M.R. Physicians’ Religious Topic Avoidance during Clinical Interactions. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 30.

AMA Style

Villagran MM, MacArthur BL, Lee LE, Ledford CJW, Canzona MR. Physicians’ Religious Topic Avoidance during Clinical Interactions. Behavioral Sciences. 2017; 7(2):30.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Villagran, Melinda M., Brenda L. MacArthur, Lauren E. Lee, Christy J.W. Ledford, and Mollie R. Canzona 2017. "Physicians’ Religious Topic Avoidance during Clinical Interactions" Behavioral Sciences 7, no. 2: 30.

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