Doctors' clear disclosure of diagnoses to patients is fundamental to patient autonomy and patient-centered approaches in health care. Although diagnosis disclosure is common in general health, it is less so in psychiatry. The aim of this study was to explore psychiatrists' experiences of schizophrenia diagnosis disclosure to patients and/or family members. We conducted in-depth interviews with 14 psychiatrists from hospital and community settings in Israel and used a phenomenological framework to analyze the interviews. Overall, psychiatrists experienced disclosure as problematic, unproductive, and harmful. We identified 10 themes of psychiatrist experiences and concerns conceptualized under three domains: (a) characteristics of schizophrenia, (b) the doctor-patient/family relationship, and (c) psychiatrists' difficulties with the disclosure task. We discuss the results suggesting a multilayered model of medical, relational, social, and personal disclosure challenges. We suggest that a constructive schizophrenia diagnosis disclosure needs to take into account psychiatrist- and patient-related factors and specify possible directions.
- communication, medical
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health