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Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2003;49(3):232-45.

[Effects of a psychosocial education programme to improve doctor-patient interaction with cancer patients].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Psychotherapeutische Medizin der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Bergische Landstr. 2, 40629 Düsseldorf, Germany.



The quality of medical care by somatically treating physicians has considerable influence on the coping process in cancer patients. In outpatient psychosocial care, information supply and doctor-patient interaction are often considered difficult by the patients. This study therefore investigates the effects of a teaching and training programme on interactional skills of experienced physicians in dealing with cancer patients.


In a pre-post comparison design, the effects of a 6-hour and a 24-hour interaction and teaching programme were compared. To measure the effects, interviews with standardised patients were carried out and analysed using the Medical Interaction Process System (Ford 1998).


About one third of all physicians practicing in the area of Mönchengladbach, Germany, could be motivated to participate in the programme. The physicians who received the 24-hour training showed a substantial improvement in interaction skills whereas no marked changes were seen in those physicians who had participated in the 6-hour training.


Interactional skills of experienced physicians can be improved by teaching and training programmes. Therefore, doctor-patient interaction training should be integrated into continuing medical education.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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