Lack of Trust in One's Doctor Affects Health of Emotionally Vulnerable Cancer Patients

the ONA take:

Patients’ relationship with their doctor and their attachment style may affect their physical and mental well-being, especially during vulnerable times such after a cancer diagnosis, according to a new study. Those who feel anxious and uneasy with their doctor may be impacted the most. The researchers acknowledge that the doctor-patient relationship is complicated; however, they observed that understanding anxiously attached patients’ fears of rejection and abandonment is important. The researchers analyzed questionnaire responses from 119 participants with breast, cervical, intestinal, or prostate cancers at 3, 9, and 15 months after their diagnosis. Using a shortened version of the Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale and the Revised Experiences in Close Relationships scale, the researchers determined participants’ trust in their doctors, and participants’ attachment anxiety or avoidance at 3 months after diagnosis, and assessed participants’ distress and physical limitations at three sequential time intervals. Lower levels of trust were associated with more distress at all periods and more physical limitations at 3 and 9 months for anxiously attached patients.

Lack of Trust in One's Doctor Affects Health of Emotionally Vulnerable Cancer Patients
Lack of Trust in One's Doctor Affects Health of Emotionally Vulnerable Cancer Patients
* People with an anxious attachment style have an exaggerated desire for closeness in relationships coupled with a high fear of rejection or abandonment.* Cancer patients who expressed lower levels of trust in their physician and an anxious attachment style had more distress and physical limitations in the year following diagnosis.
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