Communication interventions make a difference in conversations between physicians and patients

A systematic review of the evidence

Jaya K. Rao, Lynda A. Anderson, Thomas Inui, Richard Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

282 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: We sought to synthesize the findings of studies examining interventions to enhance the communication behaviors of physicians and patients during outpatient encounters. METHODS:: We conducted searches of 6 databases between 1966 and 2005 to identify studies for a systematic review and synthesis of the literature. Eligible studies tested a communication intervention; were randomized controlled trials (RCTs); objectively assessed verbal communication behaviors as the primary outcome; and were published in English. Interventions were characterized by type (eg, information, modeling, feedback, practice), delivery strategy, and overall intensity. We abstracted information on the effects of the interventions on communication outcomes (eg, interpersonal and information exchanging behaviors). We examined the effectiveness of the interventions in improving the communication behaviors of physicians and patients. RESULTS:: Thirty-six studies were reviewed: 18 involved physicians; 15 patients; and 3 both. Of the physician interventions, 76% included 3 or 4 types, often in the form of practice and feedback sessions. Among the patient interventions, 33% involved 1 type, and nearly all were delivered in the waiting room. Intervention physicians were more likely than controls to receive higher ratings of their overall communication style and to exhibit specific patient-centered communication behaviors. Intervention patients obtained more information from physicians and exhibited greater involvement during the visit than controls. CONCLUSIONS:: The interventions were associated with improved physician and patient communication behaviors. The challenge for future research is to design effective patient and physician interventions that can be integrated into practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-349
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Care
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007

Fingerprint

conversation
Communication
physician
Physicians
communication behavior
communication
evidence
Verbal Behavior
verbal communication
language behavior
Outpatients
Randomized Controlled Trials
Databases
rating

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Interventions
  • Physician-patient relations
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Communication interventions make a difference in conversations between physicians and patients : A systematic review of the evidence. / Rao, Jaya K.; Anderson, Lynda A.; Inui, Thomas; Frankel, Richard.

In: Medical Care, Vol. 45, No. 4, 04.2007, p. 340-349.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0206822ec689412b8a710d471f549d21,
title = "Communication interventions make a difference in conversations between physicians and patients: A systematic review of the evidence",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE:: We sought to synthesize the findings of studies examining interventions to enhance the communication behaviors of physicians and patients during outpatient encounters. METHODS:: We conducted searches of 6 databases between 1966 and 2005 to identify studies for a systematic review and synthesis of the literature. Eligible studies tested a communication intervention; were randomized controlled trials (RCTs); objectively assessed verbal communication behaviors as the primary outcome; and were published in English. Interventions were characterized by type (eg, information, modeling, feedback, practice), delivery strategy, and overall intensity. We abstracted information on the effects of the interventions on communication outcomes (eg, interpersonal and information exchanging behaviors). We examined the effectiveness of the interventions in improving the communication behaviors of physicians and patients. RESULTS:: Thirty-six studies were reviewed: 18 involved physicians; 15 patients; and 3 both. Of the physician interventions, 76{\%} included 3 or 4 types, often in the form of practice and feedback sessions. Among the patient interventions, 33{\%} involved 1 type, and nearly all were delivered in the waiting room. Intervention physicians were more likely than controls to receive higher ratings of their overall communication style and to exhibit specific patient-centered communication behaviors. Intervention patients obtained more information from physicians and exhibited greater involvement during the visit than controls. CONCLUSIONS:: The interventions were associated with improved physician and patient communication behaviors. The challenge for future research is to design effective patient and physician interventions that can be integrated into practice.",
keywords = "Communication, Interventions, Physician-patient relations, Systematic review",
author = "Rao, {Jaya K.} and Anderson, {Lynda A.} and Thomas Inui and Richard Frankel",
year = "2007",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1097/01.mlr.0000254516.04961.d5",
language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "340--349",
journal = "Medical Care",
issn = "0025-7079",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Communication interventions make a difference in conversations between physicians and patients

T2 - A systematic review of the evidence

AU - Rao, Jaya K.

AU - Anderson, Lynda A.

AU - Inui, Thomas

AU - Frankel, Richard

PY - 2007/4

Y1 - 2007/4

N2 - OBJECTIVE:: We sought to synthesize the findings of studies examining interventions to enhance the communication behaviors of physicians and patients during outpatient encounters. METHODS:: We conducted searches of 6 databases between 1966 and 2005 to identify studies for a systematic review and synthesis of the literature. Eligible studies tested a communication intervention; were randomized controlled trials (RCTs); objectively assessed verbal communication behaviors as the primary outcome; and were published in English. Interventions were characterized by type (eg, information, modeling, feedback, practice), delivery strategy, and overall intensity. We abstracted information on the effects of the interventions on communication outcomes (eg, interpersonal and information exchanging behaviors). We examined the effectiveness of the interventions in improving the communication behaviors of physicians and patients. RESULTS:: Thirty-six studies were reviewed: 18 involved physicians; 15 patients; and 3 both. Of the physician interventions, 76% included 3 or 4 types, often in the form of practice and feedback sessions. Among the patient interventions, 33% involved 1 type, and nearly all were delivered in the waiting room. Intervention physicians were more likely than controls to receive higher ratings of their overall communication style and to exhibit specific patient-centered communication behaviors. Intervention patients obtained more information from physicians and exhibited greater involvement during the visit than controls. CONCLUSIONS:: The interventions were associated with improved physician and patient communication behaviors. The challenge for future research is to design effective patient and physician interventions that can be integrated into practice.

AB - OBJECTIVE:: We sought to synthesize the findings of studies examining interventions to enhance the communication behaviors of physicians and patients during outpatient encounters. METHODS:: We conducted searches of 6 databases between 1966 and 2005 to identify studies for a systematic review and synthesis of the literature. Eligible studies tested a communication intervention; were randomized controlled trials (RCTs); objectively assessed verbal communication behaviors as the primary outcome; and were published in English. Interventions were characterized by type (eg, information, modeling, feedback, practice), delivery strategy, and overall intensity. We abstracted information on the effects of the interventions on communication outcomes (eg, interpersonal and information exchanging behaviors). We examined the effectiveness of the interventions in improving the communication behaviors of physicians and patients. RESULTS:: Thirty-six studies were reviewed: 18 involved physicians; 15 patients; and 3 both. Of the physician interventions, 76% included 3 or 4 types, often in the form of practice and feedback sessions. Among the patient interventions, 33% involved 1 type, and nearly all were delivered in the waiting room. Intervention physicians were more likely than controls to receive higher ratings of their overall communication style and to exhibit specific patient-centered communication behaviors. Intervention patients obtained more information from physicians and exhibited greater involvement during the visit than controls. CONCLUSIONS:: The interventions were associated with improved physician and patient communication behaviors. The challenge for future research is to design effective patient and physician interventions that can be integrated into practice.

KW - Communication

KW - Interventions

KW - Physician-patient relations

KW - Systematic review

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34247562265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34247562265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/01.mlr.0000254516.04961.d5

DO - 10.1097/01.mlr.0000254516.04961.d5

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 340

EP - 349

JO - Medical Care

JF - Medical Care

SN - 0025-7079

IS - 4

ER -