Patient-Centredness, Job Satisfaction and Psychological Distress: a Brief Survey Comparing Oncology Nurses and Doctors

  • Chan, Caryn Mei Hsien (Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Ahmad, Wan Azman Wan (Department of Medicine, University Malaya Medical Centre) ;
  • Yusof, Mastura MD (Department of Clinical Oncology, University Malaya Medical Centre) ;
  • Ho, Gwo Fuang (Department of Clinical Oncology, University Malaya Medical Centre) ;
  • Krupat, Edward (Harvard Medical School)
  • Published : 2015.11.04


Background: We aimed to explore whether levels of patient-centredness, job satisfaction and psychological distress varied between oncology nurses and doctors. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study using self-administered questionnaires, a total of 24 nurses and 43 doctors were assessed for patient-centredness, psychological distress, and job satisfaction using the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Job Satisfaction Scale. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, independent samples t-test and MANCOVA, with p<0.05 considered significant. Results: Overall response rate was 95.6% (43/45) for physicians and 85.7% (24/28) for nurses. Even after adjusting for known covariates, our principal finding was that doctors reported greater psychological distress compared to nurses (p=0.009). Doctors also reported lower job satisfaction compared to nurses (p = 0.017), despite higher levels of patient-centredness found in nurses (p=0.001). Findings may be explained in part by differences in job characteristics and demands. Conclusions: Mental health is an important concern not just in cancer patients but among healthcare professionals in oncology.


Doctors;nurses;patient-centredness;psychological distress;job satisfaction


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