Accounts of disagreements with doctors

Soc Sci Med. 1998 Jan;46(1):119-29. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(97)00149-4.


Patients' perceptions of health care, particularly as they relate to disagreements of various kinds, have emerged as a particular topic of interest to practitioners and social scientists since the mid-1980s in Great Britain. Most research, however, has concentrated upon disagreements that have turned into formal complaints to health authorities and community and hospital trusts. This means that the focus has been upon the strong end of disagreements where action has already been taken to redress a grievance. This is likely to leave many aspects of the relationship between felt disagreement and disagreement action unexplored. Why, for example, when they feel dissatisfied with the health care that they, or a relative has received, do some people take action and others not? And, if they do take action, what is involved? Are there any associations between the kind of action taken--for example, doing nothing, verbally challenging the doctor, seeking a second opinion, or discontinuing treatment and the nature of the felt disagreement, the kind of health problem being treated, or the social characteristics of the patient concerned? In this paper we explore some of these questions through data collected as part of a community sample of individuals in the West of Scotland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Drug Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Errors
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Scotland