Assessment of Attitude of Breaking Bad News Among Physicians and Interns in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Objective: Although physicians do their best to help their patients, they may lack the essential knowledge and skills about
breaking bad news (BBN).The aim of this study wasto assess the level of knowledge about and attitude toward BBN among
physicians and interns in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A self-reported validated questionnaire adopted from a previous studywas used in a cross-sectional survey. It was
filled by 202 physicians and interns working in three governmental hospitals in Jeddah, from December 2016 till March
2017.The questionnaire inquired about the participants’ attitude towards BBN through32 items rated on a three-point Likert
scale. A convenience sample was used. All information was treated anonymously. Statistical analysis used SPSS version 21.
Results: Out of 254 questionnaires, 202 were returned (Response rate 79.5%). Although 70.29% of participants preferred to
tell the patient him/herself with BBN, only 28.21% of participants received BBN training. 42.57% of participants faced
difficulty in BBN, and 46.04% believed it is enough to tell a caregiver aboutan elderly patient's status. Moreover, 41.09%
preferred to break bad news to the patient in one blow. Attitude towards BBN was not different by gender, qualification,
place of employment, or age.
Conclusion: Despite an acceptable percentage of participants preferring to tell the patients themselves through BBN, interns
and physicians lack formal BBN training. This was confirmed by their insufficient score on their attitude toward BBN. More
training is needed to improve doctors’ attitude and skills for BBN in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Keywords - Breaking, Bad news , Physicians.