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Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Sep;88(3):359-63. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.06.022. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

"I am worried, Doctor!" Emotions in the doctor-patient relationship.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. arnstein.finset@medisin.uio.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review research on emotional communication in medical interviews regarding predictors, physiological correlates and effects of clinicians' responses to patients' cues and concerns and individual differences among patients.

METHODS:

A selective review of research literature on emotional communication in medical interviews was conducted.

RESULTS:

Four questions regarding emotional communication were explored: What factors predict how clinicians respond to emotional cues and concerns? What happens in the brain and the body of both patients and clinicians during emotional talk? Are there individual differences in patients' responses to emotional talk in medical interviews? Do clinicians' responses to emotion affect health outcome?

CONCLUSION:

Building on evidence reviewed, research on predictors of clinician responses, physiological correlates of behavior, individual differences and effects on outcome should be further pursued.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

In communication skills training programs, better understanding of the phenomena described could have implications for training clinicians to handle emotions in clinical interviews.

PMID:
22819270
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2012.06.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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