How Can Respectfulness in Medical Professionals Be Increased? A Complex But Important Question
- 287 Downloads
Respectfulness is demanded of doctors and predicts more positive patient health-related outcomes, but research is scarce on ways to promote it. This study explores two ways to conceptualize unconditional respect from medical students, defined as respect paid to people on the basis of their humanity, in order to inform strategies to increase it. Unconditional respect conceptualized as an attitude suggests that unconditional respect and conditional respect are additive, whereas unconditional respect conceptualized as a personality trait suggests that people who are high on unconditional respect afford equal respect to all humans regardless of their merits. One hundred and eighty-one medical students completed an unconditional respect measure then read a description of a respect-worthy or a non-respect-worthy man and indicated their respect towards him. The study found a main effect for unconditional respect and a main effect for target respect-worthiness but no interaction between the two when respect paid to the target was assessed, supporting the attitude-based conceptualization. This suggests that unconditional respect can be increased through relevant interventions aimed at increasing the relative salience to doctors of the human worth of individuals. Interventions to increase unconditional respect are discussed.
KeywordsUnconditional respect Conditional respect Medical students Attitude Personality trait Medical professionalism
- Ajzen, I. 2005. Attitudes, personality and behaviour, 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 1988. Attitudes, personality and behaviour. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Briñol, P., and R.E. Petty. 2011. The history of attitudes and persuasion research. In Handbook of the history of social psychology, edited by A. Kruglanski and W. Stroebe, 285–320. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Clucas, C. 2005. The Communication of Respect, Unpublished master’s thesis, Oxford University.Google Scholar
- Clucas, C., and L. St Claire. 2010. The effect of feeling respected and the patient role on patient outcomes. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being 2(3): 298–322.Google Scholar
- ———. 2011. Relationship between communication skills training and doctors’ perceptions of patient similarity. International Journal of Medical Education 2: 30–35.Google Scholar
- Crossley, M.L. 2000. Rethinking health psychology. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Dillon, R.S. 2010. Respect. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by E. N Zalta. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/respect.
- Downie, R.S., and E. Telfer. 1969. Respect for persons. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
- Eagly, A.H., and S. Chaiken. 1998. Attitude structure and function. In The handbook of social psychology, Vol. 2, edited by L. Gardner, E. Aronson, and S.T. Fiske, 269–322. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Fishbein, M., and I. Ajzen. 1975. Belief, intention and behaviour: An introduction to theory and research. MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Garson, G.D. 2013. Hierarchical linear modeling: Guide and applications. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
- General Medical Council. 2015. Promoting excellence: Standards for medical education and training. Last modified July 2015. http://www.gmc-uk.org/ education/ undergraduate/ undergrad_outcomes.asp. Accessed August 2, 2015.
- Hasson, D., and B.A. Bengt. 2005. Validation and findings: Comparing VAS vs. Likert Scales for psychosocial measurements. The International Electronic Journal of Health Education (www.iejhe.org) 8: 178-192.
- Heck, R.H., S.L. Thomas, and L.N. Tabata. 2013. Multilevel and Longitudinal Modeling with IBM SPSS, 2nd Ed. Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis Books.Google Scholar
- Hendrick, S., and C. Hendrick, C. 2006. Measuring respect in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 23(6): 881–899.Google Scholar
- Hill, T.E. 1982. Self-respect reconsidered. In Respect for persons: Vol. 31, Tulane Studies in Philosophy, edited by O. H. Green, New Orleans: Tulane University Press; reprinted in Dignity, Character, and Self-Respect, edited by R.S. Dillon, 117–124. New York: Routledge, 1995.Google Scholar
- Honneth, A. 1995/1949. The struggle for recognition: The moral grammar of social conflict. Translated by J. Anderson. Cambridge: Polity Press (Original work published 1949).Google Scholar
- Kant, I. 1785/1964. Grundlegung zu Metaphysik der Sitten, [Groundwork of the metaphysic of morals]. Edited by H. J. Paton. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
- Lawrence-Lightfoot, S. 1999. Respect: An exploration. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus.Google Scholar
- Medical School Council. 2016. Entry requirements for UK medical schools. http://www.medschools.ac.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/MSC-Entry-requirements-for-UK-medical-schools.pdf. Accessed July 14, 2016.
- Parse, R.R. 2006. Feeling respected: A parse method study. Nursing Science Quarterly 19(1): 52–56.Google Scholar
- Sennett, R. 2003. Respect: The formation of character in a world of inequality. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
- Sprott, W.J.H. 1955. The problem of self-respect [pamphlet]. Nottingham: The Fourth Charles Russell Memorial Lecture.Google Scholar
- Stucky, B.D., and Edelen, M.O. 2014. Using hierarchical IRT models to create unidimensional measures from multidimensional data. In Handbook of item response theory modelling: Applications to typical performance assessment, edited by S.P. Reise and D.A. Revicki, 183–206. UK: Taylor and FrancisGoogle Scholar