Why Patients Refuse Treatment: A Study of Seven Hospital Wards
Hastings Center Report. 1982 Oct; 12(5): 3-4.
In a study commissioned by the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, Paul S. Appelbaum and Loren H. Roth investigated the reasons behind patient refusal of recommended treatment in four hospitals. Using data from 105 cases, Appelbaum and Roth identified several reasons for refusing treatment and the different reactions of physicians and other hospital personnel to this problem, and looked at the clinical and psychological outcomes of such refusals. This brief account summarizes the study's findings and its authors' conclusion that improved communication between physician and patient would decrease the rate of treatment refusal. (KIE abstract)
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