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J Pediatr Psychol. 1995 Oct;20(5):633-44.

Pediatrician's communication style: relationship to parent's perceptions and behaviors.

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  • 1Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843, USA.


Investigated physician-parent communication styles and the effects of concordance between parent's desired communication styles and the communication style exhibited by physicians. Subjects were 107 parents of children scheduled for an appointment with a pediatrician at a general medical clinic. Parents and physicians completed rating forms indicating the degree to which parents desired each of four communication styles (information giving, interpersonal sensitivity, partnership, and directing one's own treatment). Parents and physicians also rated the degree to which they believed the physician exhibited each of these four styles. Follow-up interviews with parents assessed the level of satisfaction with the visit, perception that parent's concerns had been addressed, and subsequent telephone calls to the physician. Results indicated that physicians underestimated the degree of interaction desired by the parents. Parent desires for particular communication styles were not predicted by characteristics of the parents. Interaction variables predicted parent perceptions and subsequent need for contact with the physician.

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