Evaluation of Doctor-patient communication outcomes in two public hospitals in Enugu and Ebonyi States, Nigeria

Michael O Ukonu, Chidiebere A Nwachukwu, Olanrewaju A Mgboji


Background: Patient-doctor communication is a critical success factor in ensuring accurate diagnosis and treatment. A patient’s satisfaction with such interaction can have positive impact on health outcomes. This study evaluated patient-doctor communication in two tertiary hospitals in two states in southeast Nigeria.

Data Source & Methods: Data were collected with a structured questionnaire from 300 patients in two teaching hospitals. Data were analysed using simple percentages, chi-square test of independence, binary logistic regression and factor analysis.

Results: Results indicated low level of satisfaction of patients with the quality of communication with their doctors, the main contributor to their dissatisfaction being ‘doctors’ authoritarian communication style’. Factors that positively predicted patients’ satisfaction were ‘doctors’ communication skills’ (p=.000), ‘patients’ religious, cultural and language anxiety influence on communication’ (p=.000), and ‘democratic communication’ (p=.009). Doctors adopted the paternalistic approach in interacting with patients.

Conclusion: Patients reported low level of satisfaction with their doctors’ communicative behaviour. This would necessitate a shift from the paternalistic to the patient-centred communication approach in the two hospitals.


Communication, patient satisfaction, health outcomes, hospitals, doctors

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/34-1-1498


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