eISSN: 2081-2833
ISSN: 2081-0016
Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Editorial board Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors Ethical standards and procedures
3/2021
vol. 13
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Delivering bad medical news – the student’s opinions

Adam Gędek
1
,
Michał Materna
1
,
Marta Gędek
2

1.
Wydział Lekarski, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Warszawa, Polska
2.
Wydział Lekarski, Uniwersytet Medyczny, Lublin, Polska
MEDYCYNA PALIATYWNA 2021; 13(3): 138–144
Online publish date: 2021/09/20
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Introduction
Delivering bad news is a difficult but common task when practising medicine. Appropriate knowledge and communication skills improve the relationship between the doctor and the patient and consequently the overall quality of the medical treatment.

Aim of the study
The aim of the study was to investigate general opinions of Polish students towards delivering bad medical news and to investigate the difference between students of the medical faculty and students from other faculties.

Material and methods
Polish students were asked to complete a survey regarding the delivery of bad medical news by a doctor. An analysis of 196 completed questionnaires was made. The group of respondents was divided into students of the medical faculty and students of other faculties.

Results
The results show that students from other faculties than students of the medical faculty more often believe that doctors should always deliver bad news, in the full content, regardless of the patients’ family opinion. Most of the respondents (regardless of the group) stated that they would like to know the diagnosis and prognosis if they were critically ill. They also believed that it is possible to deliver bad medical news without depriving the patient of hope. Moreover, they believed that knowing the truth may be helpful in the therapeutic process. Half of the students of the medical faculty stated that they had attended a class on delivering unsuccessful information, and 67% of them believe that they would be able to deliver it in the right way.

Conclusions
Delivering bad medical news is part of the everyday job for many doctors. It is important that students of the medical faculty acquire appropriate knowledge and communication skills during medical studies. Being aware of the patients’ expectations allows for the improvement of medical care, even when managing cases of severe and/or incurable diseases.

keywords:

delivering bad news, medical students

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