Roter DL, Larson S, Sands DZ, Ford DE, Houston T. Can e-mail messages between patients and physicians be patient-centered? Health Commun. 2008 Jan-Feb;23(1):80-6.
(e-mail Communication, United States)
This study explores the extent to which e-mail messages between patients and physicians mimic the communication dynamics of traditional medical dialogue and its fulfillment of communication functions. Eight volunteers drawn from a larger study of e-mail users agreed to supply copies of their last 5 e-mail messages with their physicians and the physician replies. Seventy-four e-mail messages (40 patient and 34 physician) were provided and coded using the Roter Interactive Analysis System. The study found that physicians' e-mails are shorter and more direct than those of patients, averaging half the number of statements (7 vs. 14; p < .02) and words (62 vs. 121; p < .02). Whereas 72% of physician and 59% of patient statements were devoted to information exchange, the remaining communication is characterized as expressing and responding to emotions and acting to build a therapeutic partnership. Comparisons between e-mail and with face-to-face communication show many similarities in the address of these tasks. The authors concluded that e-mail accomplishes informational tasks but is also a vehicle for emotional support and partnership. The patterns of e-mail exchange appear similar to those of in-person visits and can be used by physicians in a patient-centered manner. E-mail has the potential to support the doctor-patient relationship by providing a medium through which patients can express worries and concerns and physicians can be patient-centered in response.
Roter DL, Wexler R, Naragon P, Forrest B, Dees J, Almodovar A, Wood J. The impact of patient and physician computer mediated communication skill training on reported communication and patient satisfaction. Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Sep;88(3):406-13. Epub 2012 Jul 11.
(Online/Web-Based, Communication Skills/Training, Patient Satisfaction, United States)
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to evaluate parallel patient and physician computer-mediated communication skill training on participants' report of skill use and patient satisfaction. METHODS: Separate patient and clinician web-tools comprised of over 500, 10-s video clips demonstrating patient-centered skills in various ways. Four clinician members of the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network participated by enrolling 194 patients into a randomized patient trial and 29 physicians into a non-randomized clinician trial of respective interventions. All participants completed baseline and follow-up self-report measures of visit communication and satisfaction. RESULTS: Intervention patients reported using more skills than controls in five of six skill areas, including identification of problems/concerns, information exchange, treatment adherence, shared decision-making and interpersonal rapport (all p<.05); post intervention, physicians reported using more skills in the same 5 areas (all p<.01). Intervention group patients reported higher levels of satisfaction than controls in five of six domains (all p<.05).CONCLUSION: Communication skill training delivered in a computer mediated format had a positive and parallel impact on both patient and clinician reported use of patient-centered communication and in patient satisfaction. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Computer-mediated interventions are cost and time effective thereby increasing patient and clinician willingness to undertake training.
Steinwachs DM, Roter DL, Skinner EA, Lehman AF, Fahey M, Cullen B, Everett AS, Gallucci G. A web-based program to empower patients who have schizophrenia to discuss quality of care with mental health providers. Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Nov;62(11):1296-302.
(Online/Web-Based, Mental Health, United States)
OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated a Web-based tool to help patients with schizophrenia communicate with clinicians about evidence-based treatments. METHODS: Fifty patients used an interactive Web-based intervention featuring actors simulating a patient discussing treatment concerns (intervention group; N=24) or were shown an educational video about schizophrenia treatment before an appointment for routine follow-up care (control group; N=26). The visits were recorded and analyzed by using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. RESULTS: Visits by patients in the intervention group were longer (24 versus 19 minutes, p<.05) and had a proportionately greater patient contribution to the dialogue (288 versus 229 statements, p<.05) and a smaller ratio of clinician to patient talk (1.1 versus 1.4, p<.05) compared with visits by the control group. Patients in the intervention group asked more questions about treatment (2 versus .9, p<.05), disclosed more lifestyle information (76 versus 53 statements, p<.005), and more often checked that they understood information (3.6 versus 2.1 checks, p<.05). Clinicians asked more questions about treatment (7.5 versus 5.1, p<.05) and the medical condition (7.8 versus 4.7, p<.05) to control group patients but made more statements of empathy (1.3 versus .4, p<.03) and cues of interest (48 versus 22, p<.05) with the intervention group. The patient-centeredness ratio was greater for visits by patients in the intervention group than by the control group (8.5 versus 3.2, p<.05). Patients' tone was more dominant and respectful (p<.05) and clinicians' tone was more sympathetic (p<.05) during visits by patients in the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: The Web-based tool empowered persons with schizophrenia to engage more fully in a patient-centered dialogue about their treatment.
Resources by Subject Area
Following are abstracts of RIAS studies through 2012, listed by subject area. Click on the subject name below to go directly to that section.
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