A Sociological Analysis of the Doctor-Patient Relationship (A qualitative study in the city of Ahvaz, Iran)

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Masoumeh SHAFATI, PHD Candidate of Sociology University of Tehran, Iran
mohamad Javad ZAHEDI, Faculty Member of Payame Noor University, Iran
Doctor-patient relationship is one of the most controversial kinds of social relationships. Despite the universal unity about this concept in general, there is a lot of discrepancy in this field, which differentiates the societies from each other. This research has been carried out with the objective of analyzing doctor-patient relationship from the patients' point of view with the approach of "grounded theory". The data has been collected through semi-structured interviews with 21 patients in obstetricians' offices in Ahvaz and also observations of the procedures of medical consultation in those doctors' offices and has later on been analyzed using the subjective encoding method. Based on the analysis under taken in this open and pivotal encoding, five categories, i.e. "multiple visits", "limitation of time", "high patient load", "lack of readiness of patients" and "avoidant behavior of the doctors" have been achieved as reasoning conditions of "non-cooperative and treatment-oriented relationship" that has been recognized as dominant communication pattern between doctor and patient in the scope of the current research. Intervening conditions also, have been analyzed in a larger scope in the form of culture, mental models, awareness and financial supporting actions among which "education" played a very significant role. The patients facing pivotal category regarding contextual and intervening conditions generally adopt approaches such as "compatibility", "tolerance", "self-help" and "conflict" that each of those behavioral strategies, have special consequences for patient most important of which are "medical errors", "financial and mental damages", despondency from cooperation" and "self-medication" and if nothing is done for improving this relationship, the production and reproduction cycle of an unequal relationship will survive. Since the multiple-visit phenomenon is increasing, especially in obstetricians' offices, more researches need to be done in this field because according to findings of this research it has drastic effects on doctor-patient relationship and the patients' performance.