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Int J Qual Health Care. 2002 Oct;14(5):359-67.

Impact of supervision and self-assessment on doctor-patient communication in rural Mexico.

Author information

  • 1Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, USA. ykim@jhuccp.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether supervision and self-assessment activities can improve doctor-patient communication.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Six supervisors, 60 doctors in their last year of training, and 232 primary health care patients at rural health clinics in Michoacan, Mexico.

DESIGN:

The main evaluation compared post-intervention measures in control and intervention groups. A small panel study also examined changes from baseline to post-intervention rounds in both groups.

INTERVENTION:

Over a 4-month period, specially trained supervisors added 1 hour of supervision on interpersonal communication and counseling (IPC/C) to regular site visits. Doctors, who had received prior IPC/C training, periodically audiotaped and assessed their own consultations.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

These comprised frequency of doctors' facilitative communication, doctors' biomedical information-giving, and patients' active communication.

RESULTS:

The performance of all doctors improved markedly over the study period, but gains in facilitative communication and information-giving were significantly greater in the intervention than the control group. No single component of the intervention was responsible for the improvement; it resulted from the combination of activities. The doctors appreciated the more supportive relationship with supervisors that resulted from the intervention and found listening to themselves on audiotape a powerful, although initially stressful, experience.

CONCLUSION:

Supportive supervision and self-assessment activities can reinforce IPC/C training, prompt reflection and learning, and help novice doctors improve their interpersonal communication skills.

PMID:
12389802
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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