Interpersonal complaints regarding cancer care through a gender lens
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016
– The purpose of this paper is to investigate healthcare customer complaints concerning interpersonal matters in cancer care.
– Complaints from cancer patients and their relatives (n=116) that dealt with interpersonal matters registered between 2009 and 2011 at four local Patients’ Advisory Committees in Western Sweden were sampled and analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
– Complaints concerned lack of information and consideration from healthcare providers. Lack of empathy and civility also caused dissatisfaction, the latter particularly for women. Relatives complained that they did not feel included in the care process or were not offered proper support. Most complaints by relatives were filed by a female relative and concerned a male patient.
– Information about patient demographics other than gender could not be investigated due to database limitations. Hence, factors such as age, country of birth, and geographical residence were not included for analysis. In addition, neither the type nor stage of cancer among the sampled patients was able to be addressed.
– Patient complaints should not only be viewed as a post-consumption judgment, but also as a service interaction activity. This may require healthcare providers to enhance their interpersonal skills, allowing patients and relatives to provide feedback during service interaction to satisfactorily address dissatisfaction. Visualizing gender disparities may help healthcare providers prevent stereotypical encounters. In addition, the provider should be invited to participate in the customer’s value creating network, which may also include knowledge and skills from other sources, such as relatives.
– Value co-creation offers a different view on patient complaints. Incorporating social construction into value co-creation may reveal socially constructed disparities. The paper provides aggregated information on cancer patients’ and relatives’ complaints concerning interpersonal issues, which can increase knowledge about patient healthcare service perceptions.