SHELTON, Connecticut, July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
New Research from SSI and TRiG Reveals Doctors Don't Spend Enough Time with Patients, are Not Punctual and Don't Answer Questions
New studies by SSI and The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG) show that two-thirds of patients around the world feel disrespected by their physicians. Unclear communication is a prime reason for patients' dissatisfaction. About a quarter of patients globally complain that physicians don't answer questions, don't involve them in treatment decisions and use medical terms with no explanation. This appears to be a direct outcome of doctors not spending enough time with patients (44%). About a third of patients also believe doctors show disrespect by not being punctual for appointments.
Patients in China (55%) and Germany (51%) are particularly displeased with the limited time they get from their doctors. Chinese patients are also far more likely than respondents in other countries to say their doctors don't explain medical terminology. In contrast, in Australia (55%), France (48%) and the US (46%) patients are much more concerned about physicians' lack of punctuality.
"Clearly, people are not experiencing the level of service and respect they see in other arenas in their doctors' offices," says Chris DeAngelis, SSI's Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. "When we look across 23 countries, we see that only 3 in 10 patients rate the care they receive from their doctors as excellent -- and less than half would recommend their physicians."
Around the world, patients' unwillingness to recommend their doctors is primarily due to long wait times (26%). The one exception is China, where the number one reason patients would not recommend their doctors is "lack of medical expertise" (44%). In fact, more than half of Chinese patients report their doctors need to improve both the instructions they give on follow-up care and the thoroughness of exams, areas only 12% of US patients and a fifth of patients globally see as problems.
"Although there are serious problems in the physician/patient relationship in all countries, Chinese respondents appear most unhappy with their doctors," says David Kweskin, Senior Vice President of TRiG. "For example, while 43% of patients in Australia and about a third in the US, UK and Sweden rate the care their doctors provides as excellent, only 8% of Chinese respondents believe they get excellent care. In addition, 62% of Chinese patients say that their doctors disrespect them compared to just 12% of US patients."
Only a Quarter of Patients Are Satisfied with Their Involvement in Treatment Decisions
The SSI and TRiG studies show that only a quarter of patients are happy with their involvement in treatment decisions. Almost half of patients around the world (46%) say that they would be more satisfied if physicians would explain the treatment process and possible side effects in more detail. Chinese respondents in particular (72%) are looking for more detailed explanations.
Around the world, "listening to patient concerns" is the second most selected option (37%) when patients name the action that would increase their satisfaction with the treatment decision process. Again, this was a particularly glaring issue among Chinese respondents (64%). Other key improvements patients would like to see include physicians spending more time discussing options (32% globally) and greater availability of literature about specific medical conditions (23% globally).
Insights Drawn from Two Global Studies
The insights into the physician/patient relationship are drawn from two global studies. The first is TRiG's online study of 22,581 adults in 23 countries -- executed through the World Independent Network of Market Research (WIN(TM)), founded by TRiG. The second -- designed to delve into the reasons behind the extensive TRiG findings -- is SSI's online study of 5,000+ adults in the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore and Sweden. SSI offers extensive worldwide reach to support survey research through SSI Dynamix(TM), its dynamic sampling platform that links to its own global online panels, as well as Web sites, social media, affiliate partnerships and more.