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A comparative study on the effect of psychosocial factors on patient-doctor relationship in different clinical settings of a General Hospital


Interaction in patient - doctor relationship forms the basis of therapeutics throughout time. Psychosocial components of this relationship are crucial parameters for its success and may be expressed with different modalities in different clinical environments.

Materials and methods

An observational, cross-sectional survey of 40 patients and 17 doctors from a General Surgery department, 37 patients and 13 doctors from an Internal Medicine department. Participants' views on patient-doctor interaction, socio-demographic data and patients' personality traits were investigated for any effects on patients' emotional satisfaction.


Internists, compared to surgeons, tended to favor encouraging patient's involvement with the decision-making process as well as demonstrating a more caring profile towards him (p<.01). Older physicians appear to further promote these differences in their respective settings.

Patients' views were strongly influenced by gender (p<.01) and age (p<.05) and formed in accordance with elements of their personality. Emotional evaluation of the patient - doctor relationship depended of the congruence (or lack of) between their views in the Internal Medicine setting, but not in the Surgical department setting.

Surgical patients responded well to surgeons choosing to adapt an active interest on their general psychosocial status rather than assuming a rigid, ‘biomedical’ stance. (p<.05)


Unique patterns of interaction emerged in the separate settings, yet the adoption of a clinical style adhering to the general guidelines of the biopsychosocial model was appreciated by patients in internal medicine and surgical clinical settings alike, providing us with positive evidence to its value in modern-day therapeutics.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Floros, G., Ierodiakonou-Benou, I., Iacovides, A. et al. A comparative study on the effect of psychosocial factors on patient-doctor relationship in different clinical settings of a General Hospital. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S112 (2008).

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