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P709 Patients’ perceptions on patient-physician communication and influence of hospital size amongst Spanish patients with ulcerative colitis: UC-LIFE survey

X. Calvet*1, A. López-Sanromán2, F. Argüelles-Arias3, L. Cea-Calvo4, B. Juliá4, C. Romero4, D. Carpio5

1Corporació Sanitària Universitària Parc Taulí, Digestive Disease Department. Departament de Medicina. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. CIBEREHD – Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Sabadell, Spain, 2Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department, Madrid, Spain, 3Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Gastroenterology Unit, Sevilla, Spain, 4Merck Sharp & Dohme de España, Medical Affairs, Madrid, Spain, 5Complexo Hospitalario Universitario, Gastroenterology Department, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica (IBI). Xerencia de Xestión Integrada de Pontevedra. SERGAS, Pontevedra, Spain

Background

Patient-physician communication is an essential aspect in the follow-up of disease. We aim to describe the perceptions of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) about doctors’ attitudes during hospital appointments for UC follow-up and the topics discussed between patients and physicians, and to assess if there are differences amongst hospitals with different sizes.

Methods

Thirty-nine gastroenterologists from 38 Spanish hospital outpatients participated in the UC-LIFE survey. Each physician handed the survey to 15 consecutive patients >18 years. Patients completed the survey at home and returned it by post-mail. Hospitals were stratified by size in A (> 900 beds, n = 14), B (500–900 beds, n = 13), and C (< 500 beds, n = 11). The physician’s behaviours during the medical interview were ranked by patients from ‘never’ to ‘always or mostly’.

Results

In total, 585 patients received the survey and 436 returned it (response rate 75%). Mean age was 46 years (SD 13), and 53% were men. Median duration of UC was 8 years (IQR 4–15). The vast majority of patients agreed that during the interview their physicians frequently, always or mostly listen to them (96%), care about them (95%), or ask them about UC symptoms (94%). However, 71%, 65%, and 42% of patients, respectively, agreed that their doctors never or only sometimes ask them about the effect of UC on their personal relationships, work or emotional health. Patients followed in smaller hospitals (type C) reported to be more frequently asked about the effect of UC on their personal relationships or work, to receive more information about the potential causes and evolution of UC or the different treatment options, or to feel reassured by physicians (Table 1).

Conclusion

In this sample of UC patients followed in Spanish hospital clinics, most of them reported that their medical interviews usually do not include questions about how UC affects their personal, professional, or emotional life. In smaller hospitals (< 500 beds), patients reported more frequently that these important topics are part of the conversation with their physicians, and that they receive information about disease and treatment options more frequently. Acknowledgements. Funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme of Spain and endorsed by ACCU (Crohn’s and colitis patients association of Spain).

Table 1 Percentage of patients who respond “frequently + always or mostly” to the question: “Indicate how your doctor behaves in general”