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.
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ABSTRACT: Inspired by the common sense model, the present cross-sectional study examined illness perceptions and coping as intervening mechanisms in the relationship between Big Five personality traits and illness adaptation in adults with Type 1 diabetes. A total of 368 individuals with Type 1 diabetes (18-35 years old) completed questionnaires on personality, diabetes-related problems, illness perceptions, and illness coping. First, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness predicted patients' illness adaptation, above and beyond the effects of sex, age, and illness duration. Second, illness coping was found to be an important mediating mechanism in the relationship between the Big Five and illness adaptation. Finally, perceived consequences and perceived personal control partially mediated the relationship between the Big Five and illness coping. These findings underscore the importance of examining patients' personality to shed light on their daily functioning and, hence, call for tailored intervention programs which take into account the personality of the individual patient.Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 02/2014; · 1.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To examine the determinants of the accuracy with which physicians assess metastatic cancer patient distress, also referred to as their empathic accuracy (EA). Hypothesized determinants were physician empathic attitude, self-efficacy in empathic skills, physician-perceived rapport with the patient, patient distress and patient expressive suppression. Twenty-eight physicians assessed their patients' distress level on the distress thermometer, while patients (N=201) independently rated their distress level on the same tool. EA was the difference between both scores in absolute value. Hypothesized determinants were assessed using self-reported questionnaires. Multilevel analyses were carried out. Little of the variance in EA was explained by physician variables. EA was higher with higher levels of patient distress. Physician-perceived quality of rapport was positively associated with EA. However, for highly distressed patients, good rapport was associated with lower EA. Patient expressive suppression was also related to lower EA. This study adds to the understanding of EA in oncological settings, particularly in challenging the common assumption that EA depends largely on physician characteristics or that better rapport would always favor higher EA. Physicians should ask patients for feedback regarding their emotions. In parallel, patients should be prompted to express their concerns.Patient Education and Counseling 11/2013; · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patient expressions reflect disability and psychological factors. The aim of this study was to list common phrases and feelings in hand surgery practice and to prospectively study the correlation of these phrases and to correlate them with possible associated feelings and disability. Eighty-three patients completed the short version of the disabilities of arm, shoulder and hand (QuickDASH) questionnaire to measure disability, the pain self-efficacy questionnaire (PSEQ) to study coping, and a pain scale. The patients also completed the phrases and feelings questionnaire, which list verbal expressions patients often use. Pearson's correlation was used to test the correlation of continuous variables, and independent t test and one-way ANOVA were used for categorical variables. All variables with p < 0.08 were inserted in a multivariable regression. There was a large correlation between the individual phrases and feelings questions with PSEQ and QuickDASH. The best model for the combined phrases questionnaire included pain, PSEQ, smoking, and other pain conditions. The best model for the combination of all the feelings questions included PSEQ, pain, and marital status. The best model for QuickDASH included phrases, PSEQ, prior treatment, and working status, with phrases being the strongest factor. Patients use specific phrases that indicate the magnitude of their disability and the effectiveness of their coping strategies. Providers should respond to these phrases by empathetically acknowledging these aspects of the human illness experience.Hand 03/2014; 9(1):67-74.