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An evaluation of doctor-patient communication : a case of study of Meridian Medical Clinic at the Nation Centre in Nairobi

Author: Ochuodho, Jedida

Awarding University: Daystar University, Kenya

Level : MsC

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Daystar University Library ;

Subject Terms: Communication ; Patients ; Physicians ; Physician patient relationships ; Meridian Medical Clinic, Nairobi, Kenya ;


In Kenya, cases of patients accusing medical practitioners of negligence resulting in damage to health or even death are on the rise. These complaints are not necessarily due to professional incompetence but some result from improper diagnosis or incorrect adherence to prescribed treatment due to ineffective communication. This study comprised three research objectives, namely, to evaluate factors that affected doctor-patient communication, to determine barriers to effective doctor-patient communication, and to establish ways of improving doctor-patient communication. Uncertainty Reduction Theory (1975) and Social Penetration Theory (1973) were the theoretical basis of this research to evaluate doctor-patient communication.The research used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data that was analyzed to get findings. Questionnaires were administered to 200 patients. Subsequently, in-depth interviews were conducted with four doctors and six patients. Secondary sources were also used to strengthen the research. A content analysis of the transcribed interviews was performed while the responses from the questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS 17. Findings revealed that 89% of the patients were satisfied with the way the doctors communicated with them. The major elements of communication the respondents highlighted were effective listening, trust, doctors? communication style and self-disclosure. A lot of factors such as use of jargon, differences in age, gender and culture and length of interaction also hindered effective communication. It was observed that doctor patient communication can be improved by training doctors in communication