Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Psychological Knowledge and Skills in Clinical Practice among Selected Medical Professions

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Psychological Knowledge and Skills in Clinical Practice among Selected Medical Professions

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Recently there has been a change in the functioning model of the health care system. There has been a focus shift from a model based on a biological paradigm towards a model structure where a biopsychosocial paradigm has been playing an increasingly important role. Various factors have been contributing to ongoing changes. One of them is a changing structure of diseases. Chronic diseases such as cancerous changes, metabolic disorders including diabetes, osteoporosis or hyperlipidaemia begin to be very significant. As far as chronic conditions are concerned the treatment time in hospital shortens and often the treatment is continued in out-patients' clinics; where possible, hospital treatment is reduced to an essential minimum and home care becomes even more important. In the case of the patients whose medical treatment is ineffective or groundless, palliative care including hospice care is available. These changes provoke modification in the clinician-patient relation (Bishop, 2000).

2. Problem Statement

Clinicians have noticed the need to expand their knowledge and their professional practice in terms of new achievements of humanities (Szczeklik, 2002). The empirical facts, which demonstrate a significant role of psychological factors in the diagnosis and treatment process, need to be noticed and inspire to change the conventional therapeutic methods. This need has also been expressed by patients, who apart from strictly medical knowledge, expect from the medical personnel, sensitivity to their problems, empathy and kindness (Moore et al., 2004). Psychological factors are so important that they determine the choice of a doctor; it transpires that for many patients personal qualities of the medical personnel are more important than their medical knowledge. When making a decision about the change of a doctor, patients often mention psychological factors, i.e. communication style and a manner of treating patients as the cause of the change while taking doctors' medical qualifications as an obvious fact. Patients draw attention to lack of sensitivity to their needs, communication problems, lack of respect towards their views and excessive use of technical jargon, as well as excessive formality of the contact as well as the treatment process (Moore et al., 2004). From empirical data influencing changes in the paradigm of healthcare it transpires that a dynamically raising number of results of health psychology research plays a significant role (Heszen & Sek, 2008). The reason is that they are multi-faceted and have strong methodological grounds. The results prove the importance of psychosocial factors to maintain good health and emphasize their considerable role in etiology of somatic diseases as well as in the process of medical treatment (Benedetti, 2013).

Scientific and technical progress

However, progress of life and medical sciences brings more opportunities of medical interference in human body both for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons. Highly-specialist medical procedures applying the latest technology advances help rescue health and life as well as improve the quality of life (Glebocka & Gawor, 2008). Nevertheless, increasing use of technology and bureaucratization of the health care cause difficult emotions. When facing these phenomena, patients feel fear and they experience a sense of reification and insecurity (Heszen & Sek, 2008). They are annoyed because they have to participate in cumbersome and tedious medical procedures. They feel insecure when invasive diagnostic or therapeutic actions are taken, sometimes taken when it is a matter of life and death. Subjective sensation of nuisance increases when there is lack of appropriate information and lack of time for a clinician-patient discussion and clinician-family discussion or when a clinician does not demonstrate adequate psychological approach (Jakubowska-Winecka, Wlodarczyk, 2007). Dynamic progress in medical sciences also proves to be a cause of many ethical challenges. …

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