This experimental study examined differences in doctor-patient relationships according to the health communication strategies during cases of medical malpractices occurred at primary medical institution. A total of 116 subjects aged in their 20s-50s was sampled. The first medical malpractice scenario chosen was the medical malpractice case most frequently registered at the Korean Medical Association Mutual Aid and the second scenario was associated with materials and devices as the cause of malpractice. Four types of crisis communication strategy messages were utilized, consisting of denial, denial + ingratiation, apology, and apology + ingratiation. Subjects were classified into four research groups by crisis communication strategy to measure levels of trust, control mutuality, commitment, and satisfaction, before and after the occurrence of medical malpractice and application of communication strategies. The findings of this study revealed that the apology strategy, compared with the denial strategy, showed a smaller difference before and after the application of communication strategies in all variables of trust (F = 8.080, F = 5.768), control mutuality (F = 8.824, F = 9.081), commitment (F = 9.815, F = 8.301), and satisfaction (F = 8.723, F = 5.638). Further, a significant interaction effect was shown between variables. The apology strategy, compared with the denial strategy, was effective in the improvement of doctor-patient relationships in both Scenarios I and II. For Scenario I, the apology strategy without ingratiation boosted commitment and satisfaction, but for Scenario II, utilizing the apology strategy with ingratiation boosted the effectiveness of trust and commitment.
- Crisis communication
- Health communication strategies
- Medical malpractice
ASJC Scopus subject areas