Do patients know that physicians should be confidential? A study on patients’ awareness of privacy and confidentiality
AbstractPrivacy and confidentiality are among the inalienable rights of every human being that contribute to preservation of a sense of reverence and dignity. The present study was conducted to examine patients’ awareness of their entitlement to these important rights.This cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 patients in Tehran, Iran during the year 2010. Collected data included patients’ demographics (age, gender, marital status, place of residence, and educational level), type of hospital ward, frequency of hospitalization, duration of hospital stay, and patients’ awareness of privacy and confidentiality. Two trained interviewers gathered the data using a self-made questionnaire, which was specifically designed to assess patients’ awareness of privacy and confidentiality. Validity and reliability of the questionnaire were determined using content validity and Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha (a = 0.7), respectively. To analyze data, patients were assigned to three categories of poor (0 ≤ scores ≤ 3), moderate (4 ≤ scores ≤ 7) and good (8 ≤ scores ≤ 10) levels of awareness. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS software version 21.The results showed that 21% of the patients had poor, 72% moderate, and 7% good awareness of privacy and confidentiality, with a mean of 4.61 ± 1.63. In this study, 153 patients (76.5%) provided a correct definition of privacy, and 161 patients (80.5%) were aware of instances of privacy violation. In addition, a good level of awareness was found in 77 patients (38.5%) in terms of physician confidentiality, and in 158 patients (81.4%) regarding confidentiality of examination results and medical consultations. Our study results highlight the necessity to inform patients about the ethical and legal issues related to privacy and confidentiality, before or during admission.
2. Parsapoor A, Bagheri A, Larijani B. Patient's rights charter in Iran. Acta Med Iran. 2014; 52(1): 24.
3. Anonymous. Privacy and confidentiality.http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/cire/pac/foundation/#1.(Accessed on 2017).
4. Singer PA, Viens AM. Confidentiality. The Cambridge Textbook of bioethics. Translated by Larijani B,Aramesh K. 1st ed. Tehran: Baraye Farda; 2013, Vol.1, p. 293.
5. Vigod SN, Bell CM, Bohnen JM. Privacy of patients' information in hospital lifts: observational study. BMJ.2003; 327(7422): 1024-5.
6. Parsa-Parsi RW. The Revised Declaration of Geneva: A Modern-Day Physician's Pledge. JAMA. 2017; 318 (20): 1971-2.
7. Mastaneh Z, Mouseli L. Patients' awareness of their rights: insight from a developing country. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2013;1(2): 143-6.
8. Joolaee S, Hajibabaee F. Patient rights in Iran: a review article. Nursing Ethics. 2012; 19(1): 45-57.
9. Abedi G, Shojaee J, Moosazadeh M, et al. Awareness and observance of patient rights from the perspective of Iranian patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2017; 42(3):227-34.
10. Merakou K, Dalla-Vorgia P, Garanis-Papadatos T, Kourea-Kremastinou J. Satisfying patients' rights: a hospital patient survey. Nurs Ethics. 2001; 8(6): 499-509.
11. Sankar P, Mora S, Merz JF, Jones NL. Patient perspectives of medical confidentiality. J Gen Intern Med.2003; 18(8): 659-69.
12. Parniyan R, Pishgar Z, Rahmanian S, Shadfard Z. A Comparison between Awareness and Observance of Patients' Rights Charter from the Perspectives of the Personnel, Students, and Patients in the Operating Rooms of the University Hospitals of Jahrom. Global Journal of Health Science. 2016; 8(12): 36.
13. Bateni SM, Sajadi Z, Hoseini SM. Patient's knowledge about patients' rights legislation. Health Information Management. 2011; 7(4):485-9. [in Persian]
14. Emami Razavi SH, Asadi Khalili N, Saiidi AA, Shidfar F. An evaluation of adherence to the patient's rights charter among patients and physicians at the emergency department of Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran.DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2006; 0(Suppl 1): 17-20.
15. Mossadegh Rad AM, Esna Ashari P. Patients and physician’s awareness of patients’ rights and its implementation at Beheshti hospital in Isfahan. Iranian Journal of Medical Education. 2004; 4(1):45-54. [in Persian]
16. Yaghobian M, Kaheni S, Danesh M, Rezayi Abhari F. Association between awareness of patient rights and patient's education, seeing bill, and age: a cross-sectional study. Glob J Health Sci. 2014; 6(3): 55-64.
17. Hojjatoleslami S, Ghodsi Z. Respect the rights of patient in terms of hospitalized clients: a cross-sectional survey in Iran, 2010. Procedia- Soc and Behavirol Sciences. 2012; 31: 464-7.
18. Zeina HA, El Nouman AA, Zayed MA, Hifnawy T, El Shabrawy EM, El Tahlawy E. Patients' rights: ahospital survey in South Egypt. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2013; 8(3): 46-52.
19. Kuzu N, Ergin A, Zencir M. Patients' awareness of their rights in a developing country. Public Health. 2006;120(4): 290-6.
20. Almoajel AM. Hospitalized patients’ awareness of their rights in Saudi governmental hospital. Middle East Journal of Scientific Research. 2012; 11(3): 329-35.
21. BasiriMoghadam K, BasiriMoghadam M, Moslem A, AjamZibad H, Jamal F. Health providersand patients' awareness on patient bill of rights and its observing rate in an educational hospital in gonabad. Ofogh Danesh. 2011; 17(2):45-54. [in Persian]
22. Yousuf RM, Fauzi AR, How SH, Akter SF, Shah A. Hospitalised patients' awareness of their rights: a crosssectional survey from a tertiary care hospital on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Singapore Medical Journal. 2009; 50(5):494-9.
23. Ravaghi H, Gohari M, Adham Marellelu D, et al. Assessing the inpatients awareness from patients’ rights and their satisfaction from observance of that rights in the general-educational hospitals of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. J Health. 2016; 7(1): 26-34. [in Persian]
24. Zulfikar F, Ulusoy MF. Are patients aware of their rights? a Turkish study. Nurs Ethics. 2001; 8(6): 487-98.
25. Fuzzell L, Fedesco HN, Alexander SC, Fortenberry JD, Shields CG. "I just think that doctors need to ask more questions": Sexual minority and majority adolescents' experiences talking about sexuality with healthcare providers. Patient Education and Counseling Journal. 2016; 99(9): 1467-72.
26. Knowles AD, McMahon M. Expectations and preferences regarding confidentiality in the psychologist‐client relationship. Aust Psychol. 1995; 30(3): 175-8.