Expectations towards medical personnel – a study with infertility clinic patients
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Submission date: 2014-07-17
Acceptance date: 2014-07-23
Online publication date: 2014-09-08
Publication date: 2014-09-22
Health Psychology Report 2014;2(3):218-226
Contacts with medical personnel are important for patients’ experiences. The role of physicians’ psychosocial competence was noted in Polish studies, but systematic analyses of infertile patients’ expectations have not been conducted. This study was designed to learn about patients’ views on relationships with medical personnel. It was assumed that: 1) staff involvement in infertility treatment would be reflected in expectations towards persons in different roles, 2) expectations might be related to patients’ gender, duration of infertility, and type of treatment, 3) expectations of couples would be related.

Participants and procedure
Fifty-one married couples filled in a purposely designed questionnaire. Items related to information, attitudes and support were divided into three sections – expectations towards physicians, other medical personnel, psychologists – and were scored on a scale of 1 to 5 points.

No gender effect of duration of treatment, type of infertility or treatment method on expectations was found. Partners expected the same level of information from physicians and the same level of emotional support from psychologists. Other expectations were consistently higher in women. There was a clear division of expectations towards different groups of personnel – the expectation to make the best medical choices was assigned to physicians, while the expectation to provide a supportive relationship and coping skills was assigned to psychologists, but all were expected to respect patients’ privacy, choices and decisions.

The findings indicate the division of expectations towards different groups of personnel, with the tendency of women to articulate their expectations more clearly and strongly, but towards the same aspects of staff functioning as men do.
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