The Impact of Emergency Physician Empathy on Litigation Propensity

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dustin Smith, Loma Linda University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01837706
First received: April 18, 2013
Last updated: May 6, 2013
Last verified: May 2013
  Purpose

The purpose of this study is to observe whether people would report being less likely to sue a physician who shows more empathy when giving a patient potentially bad news regarding their medical condition.


Condition
Empathy

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The Impact of Emergency Physician Empathy on Litigation Propensity

Further study details as provided by Loma Linda University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Intention to sue [ Time Frame: Immediately after viewing ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    This outcome will be assessed by asking "Would you sue this doctor?" after viewing a short video. Items will be measured on a 5-point scale (1=Definitely no to 5=Definitely yes).


Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Assessment of physician expertise [ Time Frame: Immediately after viewing ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    This outcome will be assessed by asking "Do you believe this physician is an expert?" after viewing a short video. Items will be measured on a 5-point scale (1=Definitely no to 5=Definitely yes).

  • Assessment of physician caring [ Time Frame: Immediately after viewing ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    This outcome will be assessed by asking "Do you think this doctor cared about the patient?" after viewing a short video. Items will be measured on a 5-point scale (1=Definitely no to 5=Definitely yes).

  • Assessment of whether subject would want to be physician's patient [ Time Frame: Immediately after viewing ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    This outcome will be assessed by asking "Would you want this physician as your doctor?" after viewing a short video. Items will be measured on a 5-point scale (1=Definitely no to 5=Definitely yes).

  • Assessment of clarity of physician instructions [ Time Frame: Immediatley after viewing ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    This outcome will be assessed by asking "Did you understand the instructions the doctor gave the patient?" after viewing a short video. Items will be measured on a 5-point scale (1=Definitely no to 5=Definitely yes).


Enrollment: 437
Study Start Date: April 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Groups/Cohorts
Emergency Room Patients

Detailed Description:

The investigators hypothesized that patients will have less propensity to sue emergency physicians after a poor outcome if the physician demonstrated empathy by verbalizing that they recognize the patient is concerned about their symptoms, and that the patient knows their typical state of health better than a physician seeing them for the first time. Accordingly, the investigators will assess whether the presence or absence of emergency physician empathetic statements in videotaped simulated encounters will alter patient propensity towards litigation. Secondary objectives are to assess whether the presence or absence of empathetic statements alters patient perceptions of discharge instruction clarity, physician expertness, physician caring, and physician desirability.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population

Emergency room patients

Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Emergency Room Patient

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Non-English speaking
  • Not healthy enough to be in waiting room
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01837706

Locations
United States, California
Loma Linda University Emergency Department
Loma Linda, California, United States, 92354
Sponsors and Collaborators
Loma Linda University
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Dustin Smith, MD Loma Linda University
Study Director: Ellen Reibling, PhD Loma Linda University
Study Director: Jesse Kellar, MD Loma Linda University
Study Director: Steve Green, MD Loma Linda University
Study Director: Elizabeth Walters, MD Loma Linda University
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Dustin Smith, Faculty, Loma Linda University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01837706     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: RS-5120206
Study First Received: April 18, 2013
Last Updated: May 6, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Loma Linda University:
Empathy
Communication
Physician litigation

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Emergencies
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on July 26, 2014