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Relationships Between Adult Attachment Dimensions and Patient-Physician Relationship Quality

  • Lachlan A. McWilliams (a1)


Positive associations between attachment insecurity and indicators of poorer patient-physician relationship quality have been found in samples of patients consulting with physicians for a variety of specific medical conditions or needs. The current study was the first to investigate associations between adult attachment characteristics and relationship quality with family physicians. University students (N = 239) completed measures assessing attachment and their relationships with their family physician. Attachment avoidance was associated with poor affective relationship quality and with greater communication difficulties. Attachment anxiety was associated with greater communication difficulties, but was unrelated to affective relationship quality. Those with insecure attachment, particularly those with high levels of avoidance, have poorer relationships with their family physicians than those with more secure attachment.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Lachlan McWilliams, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 9 Campus Drive, 154 Arts, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A5, Canada. Email:


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Relationships Between Adult Attachment Dimensions and Patient-Physician Relationship Quality

  • Lachlan A. McWilliams (a1)


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