Clinicians' accuracy in perceiving patients: its relevance for clinical practice and a narrative review of methods and correlates.
ABSTRACT A relatively unexplored aspect of clinicians' communication skill is their interpersonal sensitivity, or ability to perceive their patients accurately with regard to patients' feelings, desires, intentions, needs, physical states, personality, attitudes, beliefs, and values. The present article argues for the importance of this skill in clinical interactions and summarizes supportive research.
Reviews approaches to measuring interpersonal sensitivity and research on correlates of clinicians' and laypersons' interpersonal sensitivity.
Studies on clinicians' interpersonal sensitivity suggest that this skill could be improved. Furthermore, there are important correlates of clinicians' interpersonal sensitivity, including, on the patient's side, satisfaction, appointment-keeping adherence, and learning of conveyed information, and, on the clinician's side, awareness of patients' cues of anxiety and distress, commitment to patient-centered values, self-reported awareness of own emotions, and female gender. Furthermore, a very large non-clinical literature points to many other correlates of interpersonal sensitivity that are relevant to the clinical situation, including empathy, prosocial behavior, skill in negotiating, selling, teaching, and managing, better personal adjustment, and better interpersonal relationships. Research also suggests that interpersonal sensitivity is a trainable skill that could realistically be included in clinical education.
Clinicians' interpersonal sensitivity is an important component of quality of care and deserves further research.
This important skill should be incorporated into training programs to improve clinician-patient communication.
- SourceAvailable from: Danielle Blanch-Hartigan[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: For healthcare providers, accurate perception of patients, particularly accurate recognition of patient emotions, is an ability associated with better patient care and more satisfied patients. Despite the importance of accurately recognizing patient cues for provider-patient communication, research on clinically relevant training programs is limited. The effectiveness of a multi-component training program designed to enhance emotion cue recognition ability was experimentally assessed. METHODS: The comprehensive training included raising awareness about the importance of emotion cues in healthcare interactions, providing instruction on increasing emotion cue recognition accuracy, and practicing emotion recognition while receiving feedback. Undergraduate participants were randomly assigned to one of five training conditions or an untrained control condition to experimentally test the efficacy of the comprehensive training and each training component. RESULTS: Participants were significantly more accurate on a standardized test of patient emotion cue recognition in the comprehensive condition, as compared to those participants in the control condition, with Practice with Feedback emerging as the most effective component. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that a 30-min emotion recognition training intervention can significantly improve emotion recognition accuracy. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The results can be used to guide development and implementation of future research and programs aimed at increasing providers' emotion recognition.Patient Education and Counseling 08/2012; · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Only a few patients on a GP's list develop cancer each year. To find these cases in the jumble of presented problems is a challenge. To explore how general practitioners (GPs) come to think of cancer in a clinical encounter. Qualitative interviews with Norwegian GPs, who were invited to think back on consultations during which the thought of cancer arose. The 11 GPs recounted and reflected on 70 such stories from their practices. A phenomenographic approach enabled the study of variation in GPs' ways of experiencing. Awareness of cancer could arise in several contexts of attention: (1) Practising basic knowledge: explicit rules and skills, such as alarm symptoms, epidemiology and clinical know-how; (2) Interpersonal awareness: being alert to changes in patients' appearance or behaviour and to cues in their choice of words, on a background of basic knowledge and experience; (3) Intuitive knowing: a tacit feeling of alarm which could be difficult to verbalize, but nevertheless was helpful. Intuition built on the earlier mentioned contexts: basic knowledge, experience, and interpersonal awareness; (4) Fear of cancer: the existential context of awareness could affect the thoughts of both doctor and patient. The challenge could be how not to think about cancer all the time and to find ways to live with insecurity without becoming over-precautious. The thought of cancer arose in the relationship between doctor and patient. The quality of their interaction and the doctor's accuracy in perceiving and interpreting cues were decisive.Scandinavian journal of primary health care 07/2012; 30(3):135-40. · 2.21 Impact Factor