Breaking Bad News: A contextual model for Pakistan | Baig | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Breaking Bad News: A contextual model for Pakistan

Lubna Ansari Baig, Sana Tanzil, Syeda Kauser Ali, Shiraz Shaikh, Seemin Jamali, Mirwais Khan


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to identify the sequence of violence that ensues after breaking bad news and  develop a contextual model of breaking bad news and develop a model contextual for Pakistan.

Methods: A qualitative exploratory study was conducted using Six FGDs and 14 IDIs with healthcare providers working in the emergency and the obstetrics and gynecology departments of tertiary care hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan. Data was transcribed and analyzed to identify emerging themes and subthemes using thematic content analysis.

Results: Impatience or lack of tolerance, lack of respect towards healthcare providers, unrealistic expectations from healthcare facility or healthcare staff were identified as main reasons that provoked violence after breaking bad news. A conceptual five step model was developed to guide communication of bad news by the health care providers. On initial testing the model was found to be effective in de-escalation of violence.

Conclusion: Communication of bad news requires application of specific approaches to deal with contextual challenges for reducing violence against healthcare.


How to cite this:Baig L, Tanzil S, Ali SK, Shaikh S, Jamali S, Khan M. Breaking Bad News: A contextual model for Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(6):1336-1340.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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