Patient-centred care and patient autonomy: doctors' views in Chinese hospitals

Liang, Zhanming, Xu, Min, Liu, Guowei, Zhou, Yongli, and Howard, Peter (2022) Patient-centred care and patient autonomy: doctors' views in Chinese hospitals. BMC Medical Ethics, 23 (1). 38.

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Background: Patient-centred care and patient autonomy is one of the key factors to better quality of service provision, hence patient outcomes. It enables the development of patients’ trusts which is an important element to a better doctor-patient relationship. Given the increasing number of patient disputes and conflicts between patients and doctors in Chinese public hospital, it is timely to ensure patient-centred care is fully and successfully implemented. However, limited studies have examined the views and practice in different aspects of patient-centred care among doctors in the Chinese public hospitals.

Methods: A quantitative approach was adopted by distributing paper-based questionnaires to doctors and patients in two hospitals (Level III and Level II) in Jinan, Shandong province, China.

Results: In total, 614 doctors from the surgical and internal medicine units of the two hospitals participated in the survey yielding 90% response rates. The study confirmed the inconsistent views among doctors in terms of their perception and practice in various aspects patient-centred care and patient autonomy regardless of the hospital where they work (category II or category III), their unit speciality (surgical or non-surgical), their gender or seniority. The high proportion of doctors (more than 20%) who did not perceive the importance of patient consultation prior to determining diagnostic and treatment procedure is alarming. This in in part due to the belief held by more than half of the doctors that patients were unable to make rational decisions and their involvement in treatment planning process did not necessarily lead to better treatment outcomes.

Conclusion: The study calls for the development of system level policy and organisation wide strategies in encouraging and enabling the practice of patient-centred care and patient autonomy with the purposes of improving the quality of the service provided to patients by Chinese hospitals.

Item ID: 74436
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6939
Keywords: Chinese public hospitals, Consumer participation, Doctor–patient relationships, Health service quality, Patient autonomy
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2022 02:40
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 100%
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