Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences



Introduction: The ways in which doctors and patients interact, have an incredible impact on the quality of
treatment and improvement of the disease. Although most researches agree on the impact of these
relationships on the quality of healthcare, not many researches and practical work have been done on this
very important field. Moreover, recently the multiple patient visit phenomenon (seeing several patients
simultaneously) at the doctor's offices, especially obstetricians, is becoming common, which is clearly far
from the ideal doctors-patient relationship patterns.
Method: In the current research the ethnographic qualitative approach has been used. For collecting data
qualitative method of participatory observation and for data analysis the procedure of theoretical coding
have been used. The target community is the women going to obstetricians' offices in Ahvaz, from which
28 cases of interactions between these patients and doctors have been chosen and observed through
judgment sampling.
Results: In the coding step the patients' verbal behavior in terms of 3 minor categories of asking
questions, expressing concerns, comments and suggestions are subcategories for the major category of
"patient participatory behavior". Furthermore, the doctor's verbal behavior is the main subcategory, and
encouraging the patients to talk more, and respecting the patients' ideas and beliefs are the secondary
subcategories of "doctor participatory behavior". Patients' and doctors' non-verbal behavior in the process
of interactions has been recorded and put in the final analysis through filling out the observation protocol,
and field notes.
Conclusion: According to the analysis of the obtained data, only a few doctor-patient interactions at the
studied doctors' offices were real evidence of participatory behavior. This behavior was observed far less
in offices with multiple patient visits than in other offices. Understanding biological, social, and cultural
aspects of the disease can affect the doctor’s communication with the patient. It can even help the doctor
in understanding the patients’ issues and mental or physical problems, reaching an accurate diagnosis of
the disease, and choosing appropriate and efficient treatment.