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Encounters with medical professionals: a crisis of trust or matter of respect?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nina Hallowell


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In this paper I shed light on the connection between respect, trust and patients’ satisfaction with their medical care. Using data collected in interviews with 49 women who had managed, or were in the process of managing, their risk of ovarian cancer using prophylactic surgery or ovarian screening, I examine their reported dissatisfaction with medical encounters. I argue that although many study participants appeared to mistrust their healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) motives or knowledge base, their dissatisfaction arose not from a lack of trust, but from HCPs’ failure to treat them as persons or take their concerns seriously. I conclude by describing how respect, as evidenced by “being taken seriously”, is important for the development of trusting Patient–HCP relationships.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hallowell N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy

Year: 2008

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Pages: 427-437

ISSN (print): 1386-7423

ISSN (electronic): 1572-8633

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11019-008-9156-9


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