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Physician’s Mood Influences Care

Physician's Mood Influences CareA new study finds that the care you receive from your physician is affected by his or her mood.

Israeli researchers discovered mood influences doctors’ prescription patterns, referrals and lab tests ordered, as well as the amount of time they spend talking with their patients.

The findings of the study “Communicating with Patients, Prescribing Medications and Referring to Tests and Specialists: Associations with Physician Burnout and Moods” were recently presented at the 14th International Conference of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy by Prof. Talma Kushnir, Department of the Sociology of Health, BGU Faculty of Health Sciences.

Prof. Kushnir surveyed 188 primary care physicians in Israel to determine whether doctors changed their professional behavior on good mood days, as well as days when they felt stressed, tired or anxious.

Physicians’ burnout levels were also assessed. The study asked doctors to rank how their mood affected the extent they talked to patients, prescribed medications, sent them to lab or diagnostic tests and referred patients to a specialist.

Her findings show that a good or bad mood affected all five physician behaviors. On days the doctors felt positive moods, they spoke more to patients, wrote fewer prescriptions, ordered fewer tests and issued fewer referrals.

However, when doctors were in a bad mood, they did the opposite. Additionally, if the physicians’ burnout level was higher, their moods more strongly impacted their behaviors.

“The finding that on bad mood days physicians tend to talk less, and may needlessly prescribe and refer more than on good mood days, implies that negative moods may be detrimental to quality and costly to healthcare systems,” says Prof. Kushnir.

“Conversely, positive moods that have the opposite effects may help contain costs.”

Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Physician’s Mood Influences Care

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Physician’s Mood Influences Care. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/01/12/physicians-mood-influences-care/10696.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.