Opinions of Doctors regarding Communication and Interdisciplinary Collaboration. A Pilot Study

Background: The provision of safe, high quality health services requires harmonious, coordinated collaboration and effective communication between doctors and nurses. Aim: Investigation of doctors’ opinions about doctor-nurse communication and interdisciplinary collaboration in the hospital setting. Method: Data were collected from 93 hospital doctors who completed the questionnaire “Communication and collaboration among physicians and nurses”, which included demographic data and questions assessing the opinions of doctors on collaboration and communication with nurses (13 questions). The analysis was performed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v. 16.0, using both descriptive and comparative methods. A 5% significance level was set. Results: The majority of doctors reported that they respected the nurses’ job (95.7%) and were sensitive about their family status (87.1%) and personal needs (90.4%). Most doctors reported that the relationship between doctors and nurses ensured collaboration (95.7%), that they were well informed by the nurses (89.1%) about the patients’ condition, and they accepted shared responsibility in patient care (89.1%). Younger doctors (p=0.029) acknowledged the management abilities of nurses and were more receptive to nurses’ views and decisions concerning patient care (p=0.042). Male doctors showed greater sensitivity than female doctors to the nurses’ family status (p=0.039). Conclusions: This study confirmed the importance of harmonious and effective interdisciplinary collaboration in the hospital. Themes emerged of shared practice and responsibility between doctors and nurses, along with interpersonal relationships. Mutual respect and quality of communication are among the most important determinants of effective nurse-doctor collaboration.