• B. R. SEKONI Department of Mass Communication
  • A. T. ODUNLAMI College of Humanities and General Studies
  • B. I. AKEREDOLU-ALE College of Humanities and General Studies


Health Communication, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Health Behaviour, Synergistic Approach


Communication in doctor-patient relationship has undergone a transition over time from doctor-dominance to patient-centred approach. Unfortunately, the patient-centred approach adopted today has not positively influenced the health behaviour of patients. For this, health communication scholars wonder if there is any difference between patient-centred and the doctor-dominance approach. The study adopted the descriptive survey research method, using two sets of questionnaires for data collection from patients and doctors. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 120 respondents for the study. Data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages and chi-square technique. Communication in doctor-patient relationship had significant influence on patients’ follow-up appointments (χ2 = 112.867) and compliance to prescribed drugs (χ2 = 48.333).   Communication in doctor-patient   relationship had significant influence on patients’ choice of the hospital (χ2= 44.083) and  consumption of balanced or specific diet (χ2 = 61.350). Communication in doctor-patient relationship had significant influence on patients’ exercising regularly (χ2 =18.80).The study concluded that doctor-patient relationship in health communication influences patients’ health behaviour in South West Nigeria. It is therefore recommended that doctors should apply an integrated/ synergetic approach in communicating with their patients and that audience-specific social media platforms should be utilized to complement the doctor-patient communication for more effective result.


Author Biographies

B. R. SEKONI, Department of Mass Communication

Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria

A. T. ODUNLAMI, College of Humanities and General Studies

Federal University of Agriculture,  Abeokuta, Nigeria.


B. I. AKEREDOLU-ALE, College of Humanities and General Studies

Federal University of Agriculture,  Abeokuta, Nigeria.



Abiola, T., Udofia, O., Abdullahi, A. 2014. Patient-doctor relationship: The practice orientation of doctors in Kano, Nigeria Journal of Clinical Practice 17(2): 241-242.

Jalil, A., Zakar, R., Zakria, M., Fisher 2017. Patient satisfaction with doctor-patient interactions: a mixed methods study among diabetes mellitus patients in Pakistan. BMC Health Services Research 17(1): 155.

Jennifer, F., Nancy, L. 2010. Doctor-patient communication: A review. The ochsnerJournal 10(1): 38-43.

Kaba, R., Sooriakumaran, P. 2007.The evolution of the doctor-patient relationship. International Journal of surgery 5(1): 57-65.

King, A., Hoppe, R. 2013. “Best Practice” for Patient-centered communication: A Narrative Review. Journal of Graduate Medical Education 5(3): 385-393.

Kreps, G. L. 2003. Opportunities for health communication to shape public health policy and practice: Examples from the National Cancer Institute. In Thompson, T.L., Dorsey, A.M., Miller, K.I., & Parrot, R. (Eds.), Handbook of health communication. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Kreps, G. L., Bonaguro, E. W., Query J. L 1998. The history and development of field of Health communication. In L.D.J. Bernard K. Duffy (ed.), Health communication research: A guide to development and directions (pp.1-15). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Llyod, M., Bor, R. 2009.Communication skills for medicine (3rded.) Elsevier Health Services.

Llyod, M., Bor, R. 1996. Communication Skills for Medicine. Royal Free Hospital School of Medical, London.

Oduyale, O. 2018. Achieving Wellness for all: The Aerobic Culture Mandate. Inaugural Lecture Series. Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Olabisi Onabanjo University Mass Communication Press, Ago-Iwoye Ogun State.

Northouse, L. I., Northouse, P. G. 1998. Health communication strategies for health, professionals, 3rd edition. Appleton and Lange, London.

Rosenstock, I. M., Stretcher, V. J., Becker, M. M. 1988. Social learning theory and the health belief model. Health Education Quarterly 15 (2): 175-183.

Simpson, Buckman, Stewart, Maguire, Lipkin, Novack and Till 1991. Doctor-patient communication: the Toronto consensus statement. Toronto-Bayview Regional Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Stewart, M., Roter, D. 1989.Communicating with Medical Patients Sage, London.

Sunresh, K. 2011. Evidence-based communication for health promotion: India lessons of the last decade. Public Health Education 5(4): 276-285.

Susan, D., Mack, L. 1999. The doctor-patient Relationship: challenges, opportunities and strategies. Journal of General internal medicine. 14(suppl I): 526-533.

Tongue, J. Epps, R., Forese, L. 2005 Communication Skills for Patient-Centered Care. Research-Based Easily Learned Tecniques for Medical Interviews That Benefit Orthopaedic Surgeons and their patients. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 87: 652-658.

United Kingdom department of health. 2004. Choosing health: Making healthy choices Easier (and 6374). London: UK Department of health.

Valerie, D. 2011. Doctor-Patient Relationship Influences Patient Engagement: Contributing Writer Research Source: Health Services Research.