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It takes two to tango: A dyadic approach to understanding the medication dialogue in patient-provider relationships

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Abstract

Objective: To describe typologies of dyadic communication exchanges between primary care providers and their hypertensive patients about prescribed antihypertensive medications. Methods: Qualitative analysis of 94 audiotaped patient-provider encounters, using grounded theory methodology. Results: Four types of dyadic exchanges were identified: Interactive (53% of interactions), divergent-traditional (24% of interactions), convergent-traditional (17% of interactions) and disconnected (6% of interactions). In the interactive and convergent-traditional types, providers adopted a patient-centered approach and used communication behaviors to engage patients in the relationship. Patients in these interactions adopted either an active role in the visit (interactive), or a passive role (convergent-traditional). The divergent-traditional type was characterized by provider verbal dominance, which inhibited patients' ability to ask questions, seek information, or check understanding of information. In the disconnected types, providers used mainly closed-ended questions and terse directives to gather and convey information, which was often disregarded by patients who instead diverted the conversation to psychosocial issues. Conclusions: This study identified interdependent patient-provider communication styles that can either facilitate or hinder discussions about prescribed medications. Practice implications: Examining the processes that underlie dyadic communication in patient-provider interactions is an essential first step to developing interventions that can improve the patient-provider relationship and patient health behaviors.

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... • Qualitative observational study, 94 dyadic conversations about prescribed antihypertensive medications between hypertensive patients and primary care health professionals (nurses and doctors) were recorded and analysed using a grounded theory approach 41 In this study four types of dyadic exchanges were identified: interactive (53% of interactions), divergent-traditional (24% of interactions), convergent-traditional (17% of interactions) and disconnected (6% of interactions). In the interactive and convergent-traditional types, healthcare professionals adopted a patient-centred approach and used communication behaviours to engage patients. ...
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... • Qualitative observational study, 94 dyadic conversations about prescribed antihypertensive medications between hypertensive patients and primary care health professionals (nurses and doctors) were recorded and analysed using a grounded theory approach 41 In this study four types of dyadic exchanges were identified: interactive (53% of interactions), divergent-traditional (24% of interactions), convergent-traditional (17% of interactions) and disconnected (6% of interactions). In the interactive and convergent-traditional types, healthcare professionals adopted a patient-centred approach and used communication behaviours to engage patients. ...
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Discriminatory treatment of African Americans in healthcare is well recognized, yet the literature is unclear on the specific role that perceived racism and mistrust play in the patient-provider relationship. The purpose of this study was to test a mid-range theoretical model entitled Perceptions of Racism and Mistrust in Health Care (PRMHC). This model hypothesized that perceived racism influences cultural mistrust, which affects trust in providers--and these combined psychosocial aspects of healthcare affect satisfaction with the care received. One-hundred-forty-five African-American subjects participated in structured interviews to collect demographic and psychosocial data. Provider data was obtained through chart audits. In a group of low-income African Americans in two primary care clinics, perceptions of racism and mistrust of whites had a significant negative effect on trust and satisfaction. Perceived racism had both a significant, inverse direct effect on satisfaction as well as a significant indirect effect on satisfaction mediated by cultural mistrust and trust in provider. Structural equation modeling analysis supported the hypothesized theoretical relationships and explained 27% of the variance in satisfaction with care. The findings add to the existing literature by enhancing our understanding of the complex perspectives on trust and overall satisfaction with care among African-American patients. Results suggest that improving health outcomes for African Americans requires a broader understanding of cultural competence, one that addresses societal racism and its impact on provider-patient relationships.
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Background: Poor medication adherence is a pervasive problem in patients with hypertension. Despite research documenting an association between patient-provider communication and medication adherence, there are no empirical data on how the informational and relational aspects of communication affect patient's actual medication-taking behaviors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of patient-provider communication on medication adherence among a sample of primary care providers and their black and white hypertensive patients. Methods and results: Cohort study included 92 hypertensive patients and 27 providers in 3 safety-net primary care practices in New York City. Patient-provider encounters were audiotaped at baseline and coded using the Medical Interaction Process System. Medication adherence data were collected continuously during the 3-month study with an electronic monitoring device. The majority of patients were black, 58% women, and most were seeing the same provider for at least 1 year. Approximately half of providers were white (56%), 67% women, and have been in practice for an average of 5.8 years. Fifty-eight percent of patients exhibited poor adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medications. Three categories of patient-provider communication predicted poor medication adherence: lower patient centeredness (odds ratio: 3.08; 95% confidence interval: 1.04-9.12), less discussion about patients' sociodemographic circumstances (living situation, relationship with partner; odds ratio: 6.03; 95% confidence interval: 2.15-17), and about their antihypertensive medications (odds ratio: 6.48; 95% confidence interval: 1.83-23.0). The effect of having less discussion about patients' sociodemographic circumstances on medication adherence was heightened in black patients (odds ratio: 8.01; 95% confidence interval: 2.80-22.9). Conclusions: The odds of poor medication adherence are greater when patient-provider interactions are low in patient centeredness and do not address patients' sociodemographic circumstances or their medication regimen.
Article
Communication can be seen as the main ingredient in medical care. In reviewing doctor-patient communication, the following topics are addressed: (1) different purposes of medical communication; (2) analysis of doctor-patient communication; (3) specific communicative behaviors; (4) the influence of communicative behaviors on patient outcomes; and (5) concluding remarks. Three different purposes of communication are identified, namely: (a) creating a good inter-personal relationship; (b) exchanging information; and (c) making treatment-related decisions. Communication during medical encounters can be analyzed by using different interaction analysis systems (IAS). These systems differ with regard to their clinical relevance, observational strategy, reliability/validity and channels of communicative behavior. Several communicative behaviors that occur in consultations are discussed: instrumental (cure oriented) vs affective (care oriented) behavior, verbal vs non-verbal behavior, privacy behavior, high vs low controlling behavior, and medical vs everyday language vocabularies. Consequences of specific physician behaviors on certain patient outcomes, namely: satisfaction, compliance/adherence to treatment, recall and understanding of information, and health status/psychiatric morbidity are described. Finally, a framework relating background, process and outcome variables is presented.
Article
DURING the last two decades or so, there has been a struggle over the patient's role in medical decision making that is often characterized as a conflict between autonomy and health, between the values of the patient and the values of the physician. Seeking to curtail physician dominance, many have advocated an ideal of greater patient control.1,2 Others question this ideal because it fails to acknowledge the potentially imbalanced nature of this interaction when one party is sick and searching for security, and when judgments entail the interpretation of technical information.3,4 Still others are trying to delineate a more mutual relationship.5,6 This struggle shapes the expectations of physicians and patients as well as the ethical and legal standards for the physician's duties, informed consent, and medical malpractice. This struggle forces us to ask, What should be the ideal physician-patient relationship? We shall outline four models of the
Article
Purpose: We investigated whether clinicians' explicit and implicit ethnic/racial bias is related to black and Latino patients' perceptions of their care in established clinical relationships. Methods: We administered a telephone survey to 2,908 patients, stratified by ethnicity/race, and randomly selected from the patient panels of 134 clinicians who had previously completed tests of explicit and implicit ethnic/racial bias. Patients completed the Primary Care Assessment Survey, which addressed their clinicians' interpersonal treatment, communication, trust, and contextual knowledge. We created a composite measure of patient-centered care from the 4 subscales. Results: Levels of explicit bias were low among clinicians and unrelated to patients' perceptions. Levels of implicit bias varied among clinicians, and those with greater implicit bias were rated lower in patient-centered care by their black patients as compared with a reference group of white patients (P = .04). Latino patients gave the clinicians lower ratings than did other groups (P <.0001), and this did not depend on the clinicians' implicit bias (P = .98). Conclusions: This is among the first studies to investigate clinicians' implicit bias and communication processes in ongoing clinical relationships. Our findings suggest that clinicians' implicit bias may jeopardize their clinical relationships with black patients, which could have negative effects on other care processes. As such, this finding supports the Institute of Medicine's suggestion that clinician bias may contribute to health disparities. Latinos' overall greater concerns about their clinicians appear to be based on aspects of care other than clinician bias.
Article
To provide a brief overview of selected interpersonal theories and models, and to present examples of their use in healthcare communication research. Nine interpersonal communication theories and their application to healthcare communication are discussed. As healthcare communication interactions often occur at an interpersonal level, familiarity with theories of interpersonal communication may reinforce existing best practices and lead to the development of novel communication approaches with patients. This article serves as an introductory primer to theories of interpersonal communication that have been or could be applied to healthcare communication research. Understanding key constructs and general formulations of these theories may provide practitioners with additional theoretical frameworks to use when interacting with patients.
Article
Family researchers have used the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) to study romantic couples, parent-child dyads, and siblings. We discuss a new method to detect, measure, and test different theoretically important patterns in the APIM: equal actor and partner effect (couple pattern); same size, but different signs of actor and partner effects (contrast pattern); and zero partner effects (actor-only pattern). To measure these different patterns, as well as others, we propose the estimation of the parameter k, which equals the partner effect divided by the actor effect. For both indistinguishable dyad members (e.g., twins) and distinguishable dyad members (e.g., heterosexual couples), we propose strategies for estimating and testing different models. We illustrate our new approach with four data sets.
Article
To evaluate the effect of patients' perceptions of providers' communication on medication adherence in hypertensive African Americans. Cross-sectional study of 439 patients with poorly controlled hypertension followed in community-based healthcare practices in the New York metropolitan area. Patients' rating of their providers' communication was assessed with a perceived communication style questionnaire,while medication adherence was assessed with the Morisky self-report measure. Majority of participants were female, low-income, and had high school level educations, with mean age of 58 years. Fifty-five percent reported being nonadherent with their medications; and 51% rated their provider's communication to be non-collaborative. In multivariate analysis adjusted for patient demographics and covariates (depressive symptoms, provider degree), communication rated as collaborative was associated with better medication adherence (beta=-.11, p=.03). Other significant correlates of medication adherence independent of perceived communication were age (beta=.13, p=.02) and depressive symptoms (beta=-.18, p=.001). Provider communication rated as more collaborative was associated with better adherence to antihypertensive medications in a sample of low-income hypertensive African-American patients. The quality of patient-provider communication is a potentially modifiable element of the medical relationship that may affect health outcomes in this high-risk patient population.
Article
In this report from the California Family Health Project, we describe the relationship between an empirically derived family typology based on parent data, and the self-reported health and well-being of 151 adolescent offspring. The typology is comprised of four family types: Balanced, Traditional, Disconnected, and Emotionally Strained. Three adolescent health indices were constructed from 13 self-reported health variables using principal components and multidimensional scaling analyses: Physical Health, Emotional Health, and Alcohol Abstinence. ANOVA indicated that Physical Health was significantly different among adolescents in the four family types. The findings varied, however, depending upon whether the typology was based on mothers' or fathers' appraisals of the family. In the father-based typology, adolescents from Traditional families scored highest while those from Emotionally Strained and Balanced families scored lowest. In the mother-based typology, adolescents from Balanced, Traditional, and Emotionally Strained families scored equally high, while those from Disconnected families scored significantly lower than those from the other three family types. Differences on Abstinence were significant only in the father-based typology. Adolescents from Traditional and Emotionally Strained families drank less than adolescents from Disconnected families. No significant differences among adolescents were found for Emotional Health, and adolescent gender did not interact significantly with family type to affect any of the three health indices. Traditional and Disconnected family types had offspring who clearly stood apart with higher and lower health scores, respectively. The results are discussed in terms of the current literature on social environment and health.
Article
In this report we describe the development and partial validation of an empirically derived typology of families based on 11 family variable composites derived from the California Family Health Project. Our goal was to use the typology to condense and integrate the findings from previous analyses of a large group of family variables and to account for differences in the self-reported health of adult family members. Exploratory and confirmatory cluster analyses conducted separately by gender classified 97% of the sample into four parallel types for husbands and wives: Balanced, Traditional, Disconnected, and Emotionally Strained. A 1-way MANOVA indicated that all 11 family variable composites significantly differentiated the four family types for husbands and wives. Significant differences among the four family types were also found on 10 demographic and other family variables, using ANOVA. Using MANOVA, we compared the four family types on 12 self-reported health and well-being variables by gender. Both husbands and wives from Balanced and Traditional families reported higher health scores than spouses from Disconnected and Emotionally Strained families, but no single profile of health scores was unique to a particular family type. The four family types provide an integrated and comprehensive framework for describing the family in health research.
Article
Communication can be seen as the main ingredient in medical care. In reviewing doctor-patient communication, the following topics are addressed: (1) different purposes of medical communication; (2) analysis of doctor-patient communication; (3) specific communicative behaviors; (4) the influence of communicative behaviors on patient outcomes; and (5) concluding remarks. Three different purposes of communication are identified, namely: (a) creating a good inter-personal relationship; (b) exchanging information; and (c) making treatment-related decisions. Communication during medical encounters can be analyzed by using different interaction analysis systems (IAS). These systems differ with regard to their clinical relevance, observational strategy, reliability/validity and channels of communicative behavior. Several communicative behaviors that occur in consultations are discussed: instrumental (cure oriented) vs affective (care oriented) behavior, verbal vs non-verbal behavior, privacy behavior, high vs low controlling behavior, and medical vs everyday language vocabularies. Consequences of specific physician behaviors on certain patient outcomes, namely: satisfaction, compliance/adherence to treatment, recall and understanding of information, and health status/psychiatric morbidity are described. Finally, a framework relating background, process and outcome variables is presented.
Article
This study investigated the extent to which the individual orientations of physicians and patients and the congruence between them are associated with patient satisfaction. A survey was mailed to 400 physicians and 1020 of their patients. All respondents filled out the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale, which measures the roles that doctors and patients believe each should play in the course of their interaction. Patients also rated their satisfaction with their doctors. Among patients, we found that females and those who were younger, more educated, and healthier were significantly more patient-centered. However, none of these variables were significantly related to satisfaction. Among physicians, females were more patient-centered, and years in practice was related to satisfaction and orientation in a non-linear fashion. The congruence data indicated that patients were highly satisfied when their physicians either had a matching orientation or were more patient-centered. However, patients whose doctors were not as patient-centered were significantly less satisfied.
Article
This study examined quantitative measures of sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) and phasic rapid eye movements (REM) as correlates of remission and recovery in depressed patients. To address correlates of remission, pre-treatment EEG sleep studies were examined in 130 women outpatients with major depressive disorder treated with interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). To address correlates of recovery, baseline and post-treatment EEG sleep studies were examined in 23 women who recovered with IPT alone and 23 women who recovered with IPT+fluoxetine. Outcomes included EEG power spectra during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and REM sleep and quantitative REMs. IPT non-remitters had increased phasic REM compared with remitters, but no significant differences in EEG power spectra. IPT+fluoxetine recoverers, but not IPT recoverers, showed increases in phasic REM and REM percentage from baseline to recovery. In NREM sleep, the IPT+fluoxetine group showed a decrease in alpha power from baseline to recovery, while the IPT group showed a slight increase. The number of REMs was a more robust correlate of remission and recovery than modeled quantitative EEG spectra during NREM or REM sleep. Quantitative REMs may provide a more direct measure of brainstem function and dysfunction during REM sleep than quantitative sleep EEG measures.
Article
Patients recall or comprehend as little as half of what physicians convey during an outpatient encounter. To enhance recall, comprehension, and adherence, it is recommended that physicians elicit patients' comprehension of new concepts and tailor subsequent information, particularly for patients with low functional health literacy. It is not known how frequently physicians apply this interactive educational strategy, or whether it is associated with improved health outcomes. We used direct observation to measure the extent to which primary care physicians working in a public hospital assess patient recall and comprehension of new concepts during outpatient encounters, using audiotapes of visits between 38 physicians and 74 English-speaking patients with diabetes mellitus and low functional health literacy. We then examined whether there was an association between physicians' application of this interactive communication strategy and patients' glycemic control using information from clinical and administrative databases. Physicians assessed recall and comprehension of any new concept in 12 (20%) of 61 visits and for 15 (12%) of 124 new concepts. Patients whose physicians assessed recall or comprehension were more likely to have hemoglobin A(1c) levels below the mean (< or = 8.6%) vs patients whose physicians did not (odds ratio, 8.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-74.9) (P =.02). After multivariate logistic regression, the 2 variables independently associated with good glycemic control were higher health literacy levels (odds ratio, 3.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-14.47) (P =.04) and physicians' application of the interactive communication strategy (odds ratio, 15.15; 95% confidence interval, 2.07-110.78) (P<.01). Primary care physicians caring for patients with diabetes mellitus and low functional health literacy rarely assessed patient recall or comprehension of new concepts. Overlooking this step in communication reflects a missed opportunity that may have important clinical implications.
Article
While international comparisons of medical practice have noted differences in length of visit, few studies have addressed the dynamics of visit exchange. To compare the communication of Dutch and U.S. hypertensive patients and their physicians in routine medical visits. Secondary analysis of visit audio/video tapes contrasting a Dutch sample of 102 visits with 27 general practitioners and a U.S. sample of 98 visits with 52 primary care physicians. The Roter Interaction Analysis System applied to visit audiotapes. Total visit length and duration of the physical exam were measured directly. U.S. visits were 6 minutes longer than comparable Dutch visits (15.4 vs 9.5 min, respectively), but the proportion of visits devoted to the physical examination was the same (24%). American doctors asked more questions and provided more information of both a biomedical and psychosocial nature, but were less patient-centered in their visit communication than were Dutch physicians. Cluster analysis revealed similar proportions of exam-centered (with especially long physical exam segments) and biopsychosocial visits in the 2 countries; however, 48% of the U.S. visits were biomedically intensive, while only 18% of the Dutch visits were of this type. Fifty percent of the Dutch visits were socioemotional, while this was true for only 10% of the U.S. visits. U.S. and Dutch primary care visits showed substantial differences in communication patterns and visit length. These differences may reflect country distinctions in medical training and philosophy, health care system characteristics, and cultural values and expectations relevant to the delivery and receipt of medical services.
Article
For patients with chronic illnesses, it is hypothesized that effective patient-provider collaboration contributes to improved patient self-care by promoting greater agreement on patient-specific treatment goals and strategies. However, this hypothesis has not been tested in actual encounters of patients with their own physicians. To assess the extent to which patients with type 2 diabetes agree with their primary care providers (PCPs) on diabetes treatment goals and strategies, the factors that predict agreement, and whether greater agreement is associated with better patient self-management of diabetes. One hundred twenty-seven pairs of patients and their PCPs in two health systems were surveyed about their top 3 diabetes treatment goals (desired outcomes) and strategies to meet those goals. Using several measures to evaluate agreement, we explored whether patient characteristics, such as education and attitudes toward treatment, and patient-provider interaction styles, such as shared decision making, were associated with greater agreement on treatment goals and strategies. We then examined whether agreement was associated with higher patient assessments of their diabetes care self-efficacy and self-management. Overall, agreement on top treatment goals and strategies was low (all kappa were less than 0.40). In multivariable analyses, however, patients with more education, greater belief in the efficacy of their diabetes treatment, and who shared in treatment decision making with their providers were more likely to agree with their providers on treatment goals or strategies. Similarly, physician reports of having discussed more content areas of diabetes self-care were associated with greater agreement on treatment strategies. In turn, greater agreement on treatment goals and strategies was associated both with higher patient diabetes care self-efficacy and assessments of their diabetes self-management. Although patients and their PCPs in general had poor agreement on goals and strategies for managing diabetes, agreement was associated with higher patient self-efficacy and assessments of their diabetes self-management. This supports the hypothesis that enhancing patient-provider agreement on both overall treatment goals and specific strategies to meet these goals may lead to improved patient outcomes.
Article
There is increasing interest in the role that patient and physician health-related attitudes may play in predicting patient outcomes. This study examined the similarity of the attitudes held by patients and their physicians about the patient role in health care delivery and its relationship to patient outcomes. Participants were 16 primary care physicians from a single academic medical center and 146 patients who had been seen by their respective physician at least twice during the prior 6 months. Physicians and patients completed two measures reflecting healthcare-related attitudes: the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control questionnaire and the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS). Patients also completed measures of satisfaction and adherence. Analyses were conducted using hierarchical linear modeling with patients clustered within physicians. Degree of symmetry on internal health locus of control was positively associated with both patient adherence, F(2, 131) = 3.75, p = .03, and satisfaction, F(2, 133) = 7.16, p = .01. Degree of similarity on the Information/Power Sharing subscale of the PPOS was not positively associated with adherence or satisfaction. These data suggest that patients who are more similar in attitude to their physicians as indicated by internal health locus of control scores (but not PPOS scores) are more satisfied with their medical care and more adherent with treatment recommendations than patients who are less internally focused than their physicians.
Patient and physician attitudes in the health care context: attitudinal symmetry predicts patient satisfaction and adherence
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