Effects of Doctor-patient Communication on Quality of Life among Breast Cancer Patients in Southern China


Objective: This study aimed to determine effects of doctor-patient communication on the quality of lifeamong breast cancer survivors in 16 communities in southern China.
Methods: Multistage random sampling wasto use to recruit 260 females from the Guangzhou Cancer Registry Database who were diagnosed with breastcancer. A questionnaire provided data on the doctor-patient communication (including the doctor’s attitude, thepatient’s participation with the medical decision and information about the disease) and QOL (quality of life),as measured using FACT-B. Univariate analysis, non-conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate theassociations between the doctor-patient communication and QOL.
Results: Females who received good attitudesfrom doctors demonstrated higher FACT-B (OR=4.65, 95% CI: 1.68-12.86), social well-being (OR=5.88, 95%CI: 2.16-16.05), emotional well-being (OR=4.77, 95% CI: 1.92-11.88), and functional well-being ((OR=5.26,95% CI: 1.90-14.52) compared to the females who encountered worse attitudes from their doctor, adjusting forage, education, marriage, employment, family income, years since diagnosis, TNM stage, radiation therapy,chemotherapy and side effects, particularly when the TNM stage was 0-II and the patients exhibited no sideeffects. Regardless of the length of time after diagnosis, doctors’ good attitudes resulted in higher QOL scores.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the doctor-patient communication has a significant association withthe QOL of breast cancer survivors, mainly dependent on the doctors’ attitude. Effective intervention is requiredto develop optimal doctor-patient communication.