Researchers’ Educational Model Examines Impact of Physician Feelings on Hospice Referrals

Posted February 1, 2023

According to a recent study in Social Science & Medical, Physicians’ emotions can influence their decisions around the timing and type of care provided to patients and families at the end of life. Researchers recently introduced a behavioral education model that addresses how physician emotions drive clinical and family decision-making at the end of life.

Emotional pressures on doctors alongside complex family dynamics provoke “excessive” treatment efforts, according to researcher Paul Duberstein, professor and chair of the department of health behavior, Society, and policy at Rutgers University School of Public Health.

“Doctors hate to ‘give up’ on patients, so they often recommend treatments with very little chance of success,” Duberstein told local news. “That won’t change until we improve medical education and the culture of irrational biomedical exuberance.”

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