Physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients

A. M.M. De Vries, M. M. Gholamrezaee, I. M. Verdonck-de Leeuw, Y. de Roten, J. N. Despland, F. Stiefel, J. Passchier

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: In cancer care, optimal communication between patients and their physicians is, among other things, dependent on physicians' emotion regulation, which might be related to physicians' as well as patients' characteristics. In this study, we investigated physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients, in relation to physicians' (stress, training, and alexithymia) and patients' (sadness, anxiety, and alexithymia) characteristics. Methods: In this study, 134 real-life consultations between 24 physicians and their patients were audio-recorded and transcribed. The consultations were coded with the “Defence Mechanisms Rating Scale—Clinician.” Physicians completed questionnaires about stress, experience, training, and alexithymia, while patients completed questionnaires about sadness, anxiety, and alexithymia. Data were analysed using linear mixed effect models. Results: Physicians used several defence mechanisms when communicating with their patients. Overall defensive functioning was negatively related to physicians' alexithymia. The number of defence mechanisms used was positively related to physicians' stress and alexithymia as well as to patients' sadness and anxiety. Neither physicians' experience and training nor patients' alexithymia were related to the way physicians regulated their emotions. Conclusions: This study showed that physicians' emotion regulation is related to both physician (stress and alexithymia) and patient characteristics (sadness and anxiety). The study also generated several hypotheses on how physicians' emotion regulation relates to contextual variables during health care communication in cancer care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-936
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date20 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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Emotions
Communication
Physicians
Affective Symptoms
Neoplasms
Defense Mechanisms
Anxiety
Referral and Consultation
Health Communication
Delivery of Health Care

Keywords

  • alexithymia
  • anxiety
  • cancer
  • context
  • defence mechanisms
  • emotion regulation
  • oncology
  • sadness
  • stress

Cite this

De Vries, A. M.M. ; Gholamrezaee, M. M. ; Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. ; de Roten, Y. ; Despland, J. N. ; Stiefel, F. ; Passchier, J. / Physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients. In: Psycho-Oncology. 2018 ; Vol. 27, No. 3. pp. 929-936.
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abstract = "Objective: In cancer care, optimal communication between patients and their physicians is, among other things, dependent on physicians' emotion regulation, which might be related to physicians' as well as patients' characteristics. In this study, we investigated physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients, in relation to physicians' (stress, training, and alexithymia) and patients' (sadness, anxiety, and alexithymia) characteristics. Methods: In this study, 134 real-life consultations between 24 physicians and their patients were audio-recorded and transcribed. The consultations were coded with the “Defence Mechanisms Rating Scale—Clinician.” Physicians completed questionnaires about stress, experience, training, and alexithymia, while patients completed questionnaires about sadness, anxiety, and alexithymia. Data were analysed using linear mixed effect models. Results: Physicians used several defence mechanisms when communicating with their patients. Overall defensive functioning was negatively related to physicians' alexithymia. The number of defence mechanisms used was positively related to physicians' stress and alexithymia as well as to patients' sadness and anxiety. Neither physicians' experience and training nor patients' alexithymia were related to the way physicians regulated their emotions. Conclusions: This study showed that physicians' emotion regulation is related to both physician (stress and alexithymia) and patient characteristics (sadness and anxiety). The study also generated several hypotheses on how physicians' emotion regulation relates to contextual variables during health care communication in cancer care.",
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De Vries, AMM, Gholamrezaee, MM, Verdonck-de Leeuw, IM, de Roten, Y, Despland, JN, Stiefel, F & Passchier, J 2018, 'Physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients' Psycho-Oncology, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 929-936. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.4614

Physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients. / De Vries, A. M.M.; Gholamrezaee, M. M.; Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M.; de Roten, Y.; Despland, J. N.; Stiefel, F.; Passchier, J.

In: Psycho-Oncology, Vol. 27, No. 3, 03.2018, p. 929-936.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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De Vries AMM, Gholamrezaee MM, Verdonck-de Leeuw IM, de Roten Y, Despland JN, Stiefel F et al. Physicians' emotion regulation during communication with advanced cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology. 2018 Mar;27(3):929-936. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.4614