Eye contact in patient-centered communication

The University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.6). 03/2011; 82(3):442-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.12.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To understand the relationship between eye contact and patient-centered communication (PC) in physician-elder patient interactions.
Two instruments-Patient-centered Behavior Coding Instrument (PBCI) and Eurocommunication Global Ratings Scale-were used to measure PC in 22 National Institute of Aging videotapes. Eye contact was measured using a refined eye contact scale in NDEPT. Qualitative observational techniques were used to understand how eye contact can implicate communication.
'High' eye contact tapes were found to be 'high' in PC using both instruments. However, the majority of 'low' tapes were also found to be 'high' in PC. Physicians' behavior distinctly differed in two ways: (1) high tapes were characterized by more 'sustained' eye contact episodes; low tapes consisted of a greater number of 'brief' episodes; (2) brief episode tapes showed a greater focus on 'charts', i.e. 'listening' was bereft of 'looking'; sustained episodes showed a focus on 'patients', i.e. 'listening' was accompanied by 'looking' indicating patient-centered communication.
A comprehensive understanding of elder patient-physician interaction needs to include both-'listening' and 'looking'-components of patient-centered communication.
Eye contact serves as a salient factor in the expression of PC, making it imperative to incorporate as a nonverbal dimension in PC instruments.

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Available from: Rita gorawara-bhat, Apr 16, 2015
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    • "Expressive touch (on hand and/or forearm) has been suggested as a means for improving interaction between general practitioners and patients [11]. Eye-contact has been identified as one of the most salient dimensions of nonverbal communication in doctor–elder-patient interactions [12] [13] [14]. In the spirit of continuing this trend, I look "
    Patient Education and Counseling 03/2014; 94(3):289-90. DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2014.01.006 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    • "It is mostly taken as a sign of respect, care, and attention from a doctor [1]. However, if eye contact is coupled with attentive listening it inclines the interaction towards more patient-centered communication [14]. Nowadays, the use of computers and especially the electronic health records (HER), during medical interviews, is a big obstacle in using eye contact as an effective way to communicate [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Nonverbal behaviors have a significant impact on patients during consultations. This study was undertaken to find out the attitudes and preferences of the patients regarding nonverbal communication during consultations with physicians, in a tertiary care hospital. Methods. A questionnaire based cross-sectional study was carried out at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, during the months of January to March 2012. All patients (>18 years of age) coming for consultancy in the family medicine clinics were approached; out of 133, 120 agreed to participate. The subjects were asked questions regarding physician's comforting touch and eye contact and their responses were noted. The data were analyzed using SPSS and chi-square test was used to identify corelations. Results. Overall, 120 patients were enrolled. About 58.3% were men and 41.7% were women with a mean age of 34.9 ± 10.9 years. 95.8% were Muslims and 57.6% had more than 12 years of education. Among females 74% wanted supportive touch from doctors, used to comfort the patient (45%) or to show respect (27.5%) or as healing (30%). 86.1% of the respondents believe that establishing eye contact with the patient shows that the doctor is attentive towards his/her patient. The eye contact should be brief but regular (54.1%) and prolonged staring (36.7%) makes them uncomfortable. Conclusion. Nonverbal communication helps to strengthen the doctor-patient relation as patients do appreciate positive touch and eye contact from their physicians.
    02/2014; 2014:473654. DOI:10.1155/2014/473654
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    • "There are no sustained EC episodes during the entire length of the history-taking segment (3.15 min) of the visit. The frequency of physician ''looking'' at the patient is minimal (29% of length of history taking segment), thus failing to establish an ''engagement frame'' [4]. Further, systematic observations showed the physician's verbal speech was not closely or simultaneously followed by his brief EC episodes. "
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To Examine physician eye contact (EC), patient understanding and adherence. METHODS: Secondary analysis of National Institute of Aging videotapes (N=52) of physician-elder patients in two visit types: (1) routine (n=20); (2) anxiety-provoking (n=32) was conducted. Self-reports of understanding and adherence were used. History-taking segments were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed for relationships between EC, understanding and adherence. RESULTS: Qualitative analysis showed: (1) two salient EC elements - frequency, type (brief or sustained) - and verbal synchronicity were commonly invoked; (2) conjoint unfolding of three communication elements - "looking, listening and talking" - may be salient for patient outcomes; (3) despite differing EC patterns in routine and anxiety provoking visits, statistical analyses showed patient understanding and adherence ratings were similar in the sample population comprising two visit types; no significant correlations between EC elements and understanding and adherence were found. CONCLUSIONS: Salience of EC for patient-centered communication is shown in prior research. Present findings broaden the significance of EC by including verbal synchronicity. Methodological limitations may account for no significant correlations between EC and patient outcomes. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Using suggested framework for operationalizing EC elements, including verbally synchronous communication, may facilitate patient-centeredness and have positive implications for patient understanding and adherence.
    Patient Education and Counseling 03/2013; 66(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2013.03.002 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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