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Patient Educ Couns. 2006 May;61(2):200-11. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

'She gave it her best shot right away': patient experiences of biomedical and patient-centered communication.

Author information

1
Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California, Box 0320, 400 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0320, USA. swenson@medicine.ucsf.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Medical educators and researchers recommend a patient-centered interviewing style, but little empirical data exists regarding what aspects of physician communication patients like and why. We investigated patient responses to videotaped doctor-patient vignettes to ascertain what they liked about patient-centered and biomedical communication.

METHODS:

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 230 adult medicine patients who viewed videotapes depicting both patient-centered and biomedical physician communication styles. We used a mixed methods approach to derive a "ground-up" framework of patient communication preferences.

RESULTS:

Respondents who preferred different communication styles articulated different sets of values, important physician behaviors, and physician-patient role expectations. Participants who preferred the patient-centered physician (69%) liked that she worked with and respected patients and explored what the patient wanted. Participants who preferred the biomedical physician (31%) liked that she prevented harm, demonstrated medical authority, and delivered information clearly.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients like (and dislike) patient-centered communication for thoughtful, considered reasons that appear grounded in their values and expectations about physicians, patients, and the clinical encounter.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Better understanding the diversity of patient communication preferences may lead to more effective and individualized care.

PMID:
16154311
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2005.02.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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