Expectations of respiratory physicians from psychologists in palliative care for patients with non-cancer respiratory diseases

Yoshinobu Matsuda, Takako Kosugi, Masako Yamanaka, Takaki Fukumori, Akira Inoue, Masashi Horiki, Ryo Matsunuma, Yuki Kataoka, Hideya Kitamura, Kensuke Kataoka, Hiroto Matsuoka, Akihiro Tokoro, Yoshikazu Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Psychological symptoms are common in patients with non-malignant respiratory disease (NMRD). Psychologists can likely play a role in NMRD palliative care. We aimed to explore the expectations of respiratory physicians from psychologists in NMRD palliative care. Methods: An ad hoc questionnaire was developed based on a free-descriptive questionnaire survey among respiratory physicians from four hospitals in Japan. Using this questionnaire, we surveyed respiratory physicians from eight hospitals in Japan and assessed their expectations of psychologists' support and outcomes. Expectations were compared between physicians with and without experience of working with psychologists. Results: The quantitative questionnaire was completed by 129 physicians. Data analysis from 108 participants revealed that the highly expected support included “getting early information on patients' psychological distress” (97.2%) and “counseling family members regarding anxiety caused by changes in patient's condition” (96.3%). Physicians also expected “relief in patient's psychological distress” (96.3%) and “providing the psychological support that families need” (95.4%) from psychologists. Compared to physicians with experience of working with psychologists, those without expected more in terms of “giving specific advice on the way of communication and psychological support” (p = 0.035) and “providing psychological support for difficult-to-handle patients and families on behalf of other medical staff” (p = 0.036). Conclusions: Respiratory physicians may expect relief of psychological distress experienced by patients and their families from psychologists by getting information about their distress and providing psychological support. These results may be useful for psychologists to provide palliative care for patients with NMRD in collaboration with respiratory physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar


  • Non-malignant respiratory disease
  • Palliative care
  • Psychological symptom
  • Psychologist
  • Respiratory physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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