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Health Educ Behav. 2013 Oct;40(5):603-11. doi: 10.1177/1090198112473102. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Are physicians and patients in agreement? Exploring dyadic concordance.

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  • 11University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


Dyadic concordance in physician-patient interactions can be defined as the extent of agreement between physicians and patients in their perceptions of the clinical encounter. The current research specifically examined two types of concordance: informational concordance-the extent of agreement in physician and patient responses regarding patient information (education, self-rated health, pain); and interactional concordance-the extent of physician-patient agreement regarding the patient's level of confidence and trust in the physician and the perceived quality of explanations concerning diagnosis and treatment. Using a convenience sample of physicians and patients (N = 50 dyads), a paired survey method was tested, which measured and compared physician and patient reports to identify informational and interactional concordances. Factors potentially related to dyadic concordance were also measured, including demographic characteristics (patient race, gender, age, and education) and clinical factors (whether this was a first visit and physician specialty in family medicine or oncology). The paired survey showed informational discordances, as physicians tended to underestimate patients' pain and overestimate patient education. Interactional discordances included overestimating patients' understanding of diagnosis and treatment explanations and patients' level of confidence and trust. Discordances were linked to patient dissatisfaction with physician listening, having unanswered questions, and feeling the physician had not spent enough time. The paired survey method effectively identified physician-patient discordances that may interfere with effective medical practice; this method may be used in various settings to identify potential areas of improvement in health communication and education.


dyadic concordance; dyadic measurement; physician–patient communication

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