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REVIEW PAPER
Patient – disease – physician. Importance and roles in communication
 
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Wydział Pedagogiki i Psychologii, Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomii i Innowacji w Lublinie; Zakład Informatyki i Statystyki Zdrowia, Instytut Medycyny Wsi w Lublinie
 
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2011;17(2):105–110
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective of the study:
The study tackles the problem of patient-physician communication in the context of illness. It has been commonly considered that while providing medical advice the roles of the participants are clearly specifi ed: the physician is the authority, and the patient submits to the physician’s will. The objective of the study is to expand the aspects of this problem by a review of contemporary studies concerning patient demands, with consideration of the understanding of the essence of disease by the two parties of the patient-physician relationship.

Description of the state of knowledge:
Comprehension of the phenomenon of an illness has been presented in the context of two principal philosophical models: mechanistic and systemic. Considerations of the concept of disease show that it may easily be alienated and become an independent entity, and not a physical link between patient and physician. In order to understand this concept, one should refer to a patient, because only the patient possesses independent, personal and direct insight into the state of his/her own body. Therefore, such a great importance is ascribed to the role of patient, his/her motivation for treatment, trust in a doctor, feeling of security, etc., and psychical state, which would allow the physician to arrive at patient knowledge in the process of communication. It is also emphasized that communication with a patient is an inseparable precondition for an eff ective diagnosis, therapy, care and nursing. Benefi ts are presented which a doctor obtains from good communication with a patient which cover: 1) reduction of emotional tension in a patient, 2) obtaining precise data which allows an eff ective diagnosis, 3) decrease in patient resistance towards therapy and the physician, 4) increase in patient trust in a physician, 5) increase in patient activity in therapy, 6) increase in patient satisfaction and, consequently, reduction in the number of complaints about individual physicians and the medical staff in general.

Summing up:
In order to understand the process of communication in the patient-disease-physician system, it should be perceived from the aspect of at least three scientifi c disciplines: sociology, psychology and medicine. This enables the recognition and overcoming of barriers in patient-disease-physician communication, which is transformed into direct benefi ts for the physician and the patient.

 
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