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Men's Follow-Up Attendance Influenced by Trust in Doctor

Testicular cancer patients less likely to adhere to medical advice if relationship with doctor is unsatisfactory

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Men with testicular cancer are less likely to attend follow-up visits and adhere to medical advice if they feel that they do not have a satisfactory relationship with their doctor, according to study findings published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Clare Moynihan, from the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, United Kingdom, and colleagues examined factors affecting attendance behavior on follow-up in 184 men with testicular cancer.

After a median follow-up of 7.7 years, the researchers found that 17 percent of patients were non-attenders, defined as missing two appointments at least a month apart despite a written reminder. Most medical and psychosocial factors did not predict adherence to medical advice, but non-attendance was strongly predicted by an unsatisfactory relationship with the physician (hazard ratio 3.1) as assessed by the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale.

"Patients who perceived an unsatisfactory affective relationship with their clinician that included an inability to trust the clinician and a perception that they were not being treated as 'a person' were subsequently more likely to disregard medical advice regarding follow-up," Moynihan and colleagues conclude.

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