Objectives: Although findings of an association between physician communicative behaviors and the quality of health care have accumulated, the relationship between physician explanatory behaviors and negligent care has not been examined. The purpose of the study is to explore the association between physicians' explanatory behaviors and judges' decisions in lawsuits on negligent care. Methods: We analyzed the decisions made by 10 of the 47 district courts in Japan between 1986 and 1998. We employed two types of linear model to examine the association between physician explanatory behaviors and findings of medical negligence. Results: The quality of a physician's explanatory behaviors, together with listening and talking to the patient or family, was related to decreased probability of a court decision of negligent care. However, explaining and listening to patients or their families were also related to the increased level of compensation. Conclusions: The results imply that physician's explanatory behaviors accompanied by explaining and listening to patients or their families markedly reduces the risk of a negligent care decision. However, more detailed communication of the facts about a case was associated with an increased level of compensation in the context of cases filed for medical negligence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy