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What do people appreciate in physicians' communication?: an international study with focus groups using videotaped medical consultations

(2015) HEALTH EXPECTATIONS. 18(5). p.1215-1226
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Abstract
BACKGROUND: The literature shows that the quality of communication is usually determined from a professional perspective. Patients or lay people are seldom involved in the development of quality indicators or communication. OBJECTIVE: To give voice to the lay people perspective on what constitutes 'good communication' by evoking their reactions to variations in physician communication. DESIGN: Lay people from four different countries watched the same videotaped standardized medical encounters and discussed their preferences in gender-specific focus groups who were balanced in age groups. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and fifty-nine lay people (64 NL, 72 IT, 75 UK and 48 BE) distributed over 35 focus groups of 6-8 persons each. MAIN VARIABLES STUDIED: Comments on doctors' behaviours were classified by the GULiVer framework in terms of contents and preferences. RESULTS: Participants prevalently discussed 'task-oriented expressions' (39%: competency, self-confident, providing solutions), 'affective oriented/emotional expressions' (25%: empathy, listening, reassuring) and 'process-oriented expressions' (23%: flexibility, summarizing, verifying). 'Showing an affective attitude' was most appreciated (positive percentage within category: 93%, particularly facilitations and inviting attitude), followed by 'providing solution' (85%). Among disfavoured behaviour, repetitions (88%), 'writing and reading' (54%) and asking permission (42%) were found. CONCLUSIONS: Although an affective attitude is appreciated by nearly everybody, people may vary widely in their communication needs and preferences: what is 'good communication' for one person may be disliked or even a source of irritation for another. A physician should be flexible and capable of adapting the consultation to the different needs of different patients. This challenges the idea of general communication guidelines.
Keywords
patient perspective, focus groups, physician communication, qualitative and quantitative analyses, videotaped consultations, PATIENT-CENTERED COMMUNICATION, PRIMARY-CARE PHYSICIANS, DECISION-MAKING, GENERAL-PRACTICE, HEALTH-CARE, SATISFACTION, PREFERENCES, DOCTOR, INTERVENTIONS, EXPECTATIONS

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Citation

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MLA
Mazzi, Mariangela, Michela Rimondini, Myriam Deveugele, et al. “What Do People Appreciate in Physicians’ Communication?: An International Study with Focus Groups Using Videotaped Medical Consultations.” HEALTH EXPECTATIONS 18.5 (2015): 1215–1226. Print.
APA
Mazzi, M., Rimondini, M., Deveugele, M., Zimmerman, C., Moretti, F., Van Vliet, L., Deledda, G., et al. (2015). What do people appreciate in physicians’ communication?: an international study with focus groups using videotaped medical consultations. HEALTH EXPECTATIONS, 18(5), 1215–1226.
Chicago author-date
Mazzi, Mariangela, Michela Rimondini, Myriam Deveugele, Christa Zimmerman, Francesca Moretti, Liesbeth Van Vliet, Giovanni Deledda, Ian Fletcher, and Jozien Bensing. 2015. “What Do People Appreciate in Physicians’ Communication?: An International Study with Focus Groups Using Videotaped Medical Consultations.” Health Expectations 18 (5): 1215–1226.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mazzi, Mariangela, Michela Rimondini, Myriam Deveugele, Christa Zimmerman, Francesca Moretti, Liesbeth Van Vliet, Giovanni Deledda, Ian Fletcher, and Jozien Bensing. 2015. “What Do People Appreciate in Physicians’ Communication?: An International Study with Focus Groups Using Videotaped Medical Consultations.” Health Expectations 18 (5): 1215–1226.
Vancouver
1.
Mazzi M, Rimondini M, Deveugele M, Zimmerman C, Moretti F, Van Vliet L, et al. What do people appreciate in physicians’ communication?: an international study with focus groups using videotaped medical consultations. HEALTH EXPECTATIONS. 2015;18(5):1215–26.
IEEE
[1]
M. Mazzi et al., “What do people appreciate in physicians’ communication?: an international study with focus groups using videotaped medical consultations,” HEALTH EXPECTATIONS, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 1215–1226, 2015.
@article{4228951,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: The literature shows that the quality of communication is usually determined from a professional perspective. Patients or lay people are seldom involved in the development of quality indicators or communication.
OBJECTIVE: To give voice to the lay people perspective on what constitutes 'good communication' by evoking their reactions to variations in physician communication.
DESIGN: Lay people from four different countries watched the same videotaped standardized medical encounters and discussed their preferences in gender-specific focus groups who were balanced in age groups.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and fifty-nine lay people (64 NL, 72 IT, 75 UK and 48 BE) distributed over 35 focus groups of 6-8 persons each.
MAIN VARIABLES STUDIED: Comments on doctors' behaviours were classified by the GULiVer framework in terms of contents and preferences.
RESULTS: Participants prevalently discussed 'task-oriented expressions' (39%: competency, self-confident, providing solutions), 'affective oriented/emotional expressions' (25%: empathy, listening, reassuring) and 'process-oriented expressions' (23%: flexibility, summarizing, verifying). 'Showing an affective attitude' was most appreciated (positive percentage within category: 93%, particularly facilitations and inviting attitude), followed by 'providing solution' (85%). Among disfavoured behaviour, repetitions (88%), 'writing and reading' (54%) and asking permission (42%) were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Although an affective attitude is appreciated by nearly everybody, people may vary widely in their communication needs and preferences: what is 'good communication' for one person may be disliked or even a source of irritation for another. A physician should be flexible and capable of adapting the consultation to the different needs of different patients. This challenges the idea of general communication guidelines.},
  author       = {Mazzi, Mariangela and Rimondini, Michela and Deveugele, Myriam and Zimmerman, Christa and Moretti, Francesca and Van Vliet, Liesbeth and Deledda, Giovanni and Fletcher, Ian and Bensing, Jozien},
  issn         = {1369-6513},
  journal      = {HEALTH EXPECTATIONS},
  keywords     = {patient perspective,focus groups,physician communication,qualitative and quantitative analyses,videotaped consultations,PATIENT-CENTERED COMMUNICATION,PRIMARY-CARE PHYSICIANS,DECISION-MAKING,GENERAL-PRACTICE,HEALTH-CARE,SATISFACTION,PREFERENCES,DOCTOR,INTERVENTIONS,EXPECTATIONS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1215--1226},
  title        = {What do people appreciate in physicians' communication?: an international study with focus groups using videotaped medical consultations},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hex.12097},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2015},
}

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