Clayman ML, Roter D, Wissow LS, Bandeen-Roche K. Autonomy-related behaviors of patient companions and their effect on decision-making activity in geriatric primary care visits. Soc Sci Med. 2005 Apr;60(7):1583-91.
(Companions, Geriatrics, United States)
The objective of this study, undertaken in the USA, was to investigate the consequences of autonomy-related companion behaviors on patient decision-making activity during geriatric primary care visits. Videotapes were analyzed to characterize patient and companion decision-making activity and related companion behaviors. These behaviors were coded throughout the visit using an autonomy-based framework that included both autonomy enhancing (i.e. facilitating patient understanding, patient involvement, and doctor understanding) and detracting behaviors, (i.e. controlling the patient and building alliances with the physician). Patients (N = 93) in this cross-sectional sample range in age from 65 to 95 years and are mostly white (n = 73, 79%) and female (n = 67, 72%). Companions are spouses (n = 42, 46%), adult children (n = 33, 36%), or other relatives and friends (n = 15, 16%) of patients. Companions are active participants in medical visits and engage in more autonomy enhancing than detracting behaviors. Companions of sicker (compared with less sick) patients were more likely to facilitate patient understanding, p < .05; doctor understanding, p < .01; and patient involvement, p = .06, in care. Patients whose companions facilitated their involvement in the medical visit by asking the patient questions, prompting the patient to talk, and asking for the patient's opinion were more than four times as likely to be active in decision-making as patients whose companions did not assist in this manner (unadjusted OR 3.5, CI 1.4-8.7, p < .01; adjusted OR 4.5, CI 1.6-12.4, p < .01). Companions can play an important role in the visits of geriatric patients by facilitating communication throughout the visit as well as patient activity in decision-making.
Gilbert DA, Hayes E. Communication and outcomes of visits between older patients and nurse practitioners. Nurs Res. 2009 Jul-Aug;58(4):283-93.
(Nursing, Geriatrics, United States)
BACKGROUND: Effective patient-clinician communication is at the heart of good healthcare and may be even more vital for older patients and their nurse practitioners (NPs). OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to examine 1) contributions of older patients' and NPs' characteristics and the content and relationship components of their communication to patients' proximal outcomes (satisfaction and intention to adhere) and longer term outcomes (changes in presenting problems, physical health, and mental health), and 2) contributions of proximal outcomes to longer term outcomes. METHODS: Visits were video-recorded for a statewide sample of 31 NPs and 155 older patients. Patients' and NPs' communications during visits were measured using the Roter Interaction Analysis System for verbal activities, a check sheet for nonverbal activities, and an inventory of relationship dimension items. Proximal outcomes were measured with single items after visits. At 4 weeks, change in presenting problems was measured with a single item, and physical and mental health changes were measured with the SF-12 Version 2 Health Survey. Mixed-model regression with backward deletion was conducted until only predictors with p < or = .05 remained in the models. RESULTS: With the other variables in the models held constant, better outcomes were related to background characteristics of poorer baseline health, nonmanaged care settings, and more NP experience; to a content component of seeking and giving biomedical and psychosocial information; and to a relationship component of more positive talk and greater trust and receptivity and affection, depth, and similarity. Poorer outcomes were associated with higher rates of lifestyle discussion and NPs' rapport building that patients may have perceived to be patronizing. Greater intention to adhere was associated with greater improvement in presenting problems. DISCUSSION: Older patient-NP communication was effective regarding seeking and giving biomedical and psychosocial information other than that involving lifestyle. Studies of ways to improve older patient-NP lifestyle discussions and rapport building are needed.
Ishikawa H, Hashimoto H, Roter DL, Yamazaki Y, Takayama T, Yano E. Patient contribution to the medical dialogue and perceived patient-centeredness. An observational study in Japanese geriatric consultations. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Oct;20(10):906-10.
(Geriatrics, Companions, Japan)
BACKGROUND: Relatively few studies have directly addressed the interaction dynamics and consequences of a companion's presence in the medical visit, and their findings have been contradictory. OBJECTIVES: To examine how patient's contribution to the medical dialogue, with or without the presence of a visit companion, is related to the perception of the medical visit as patient-centered. DESIGN: Observational study using pre- and postvisit questionnaires and audiotape recording of medical visits. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and fifty-five patients aged 65 or over; 63 in medical visits that included the presence of a companion and 82 in visits that did not include a companion. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Patient ratings of visit patient-centeredness. RESULTS: Long visits (greater than 10 minutes long) and visits in which patients were verbally active were rated as more patient-centered by patients than other visits. Since patients were generally less verbally active in visits that included a companion, accompanied visits, especially if they were less than 10 minutes long, received lower patient-centered ratings than others. The presence of a companion was not related to length of the visit, suggesting that the verbal activity of the companion was off-set by decreased verbal activity of the patient. CONCLUSIONS: Our results have suggested that patients are more likely to perceive their physician and visit as patient-centered when they have an opportunity to engage directly in the medical dialogue. A minimal amount of "talk-time" for patients themselves should be safeguarded even in a short visit, when a companion is present.
Ishikawa H, Roter DL, Yamazaki Y, Hashimoto H, Yano E. Patients' perceptions of visit companions' helpfulness during Japanese geriatric medical visits. Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Apr;61(1):80-6.
(Geriatrics, Companions, Japan)
OBJECTIVE: Elderly patients are often accompanied during medical visits by a companion, usually a family member. This study explores the association between patients' expectations regarding the communication role of their companions, and the role intended and taken by companions during the medical visits, on patient perceptions of companion helpfulness. METHODS: Participants included 63 patients aged 65 or over who were under continuous care of nine attending physicians at a university-affiliated geriatric clinic in Tokyo, and their companions during the medical visit. These medical visits were audiotape recorded and coded using a Japanese translation of the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). RESULTS: The discrepancy between what patients expected of their companions, and what companions intended and actually did during the visit, predicted patient ratings of companion helpfulness. It was especially noteworthy that the highest ratings of companion helpfulness occurred when patients expected their companion to be actively involved in communication and they were. However, if the patient anticipated only a limited companion role, the companion was not viewed as very helpful regardless of the role they played. DISCUSSION: There would be a largely unexploited potential for improving communication effectiveness through the optimal engagement of companions in visit communication.
Ishikawa H, Roter DL, Yamazaki Y, Takayama T. Physician-elderly patient-companion communication and roles of companions in Japanese geriatric encounters. Soc Sci Med. 2005 May;60(10):2307-20.
(Geriatrics, Companions, Japan)
Although the triadic encounter of physician, patient, and an accompanying family member is a common phenomenon in geriatrics, previous research on the communication in medical encounters has primarily focused on dyadic interactions between physician and patient. This study aimed to explore the triadic communication and communication roles of patient companions in Japanese geriatric encounters. Among elderly patients aged 65 or over who were under continuous care of nine attending physicians at a university affiliated geriatric clinic in Tokyo, 63 accompanied patients and 82 unaccompanied patients were included for this study. The consultation was audiotape recorded and analyzed using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) with additional categories developed to code aspects of companion communication. In dyadic encounters, the average proportions of physician's talk and patient's talk were 54% and 46%, respectively, while in triadic encounters the average talk proportions of physician, patient, and companion were 49%, 29%, and 22%. Companions made a significant contribution to the communication during the visit by providing information and asking the physician questions, as well as facilitating patient's talk. The companion's communication may influence not only the patient's but also the physician's communication. The patient's expectation of the companion's role during the visit and the companion's intention regarding their role were generally related to one another, and had positive associations with the companion's actual behavior during the visit. Nevertheless, companions often anticipated playing a more direct communication role during the visit, including the provision of information and asking of questions, than patients expected of them. Further investigation is needed to explore the communication dynamics in triads and dyads, and its relation to patient outcomes.
Sugarman J, Roter D, Cain C, Wallace R, Schmechel D, Welsh-Bohmer KA. Proxies and consent discussions for dementia research. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Apr;55(4):556-61.
(Informed Consent, Geriatrics, United States)
OBJECTIVES: To better understand the nature of informed consent encounters for research involving patients with dementia that requires proxy consent. DESIGN: Audiotaping of informed-consent encounters for a study of genetic markers for sporadic Alzheimer's disease. SETTING: Outpatients at an Alzheimer's disease research center. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with dementia and their companions. MEASUREMENTS: Audiotapes were analyzed to characterize communication style and coverage of the standard elements of informed consent and, using the Roter Interaction Analysis System, to capture the dynamics of three-way interaction between the patient, their companion, and the physician investigator. RESULTS: Of 26 informed consent encounters, all involved a patient, a companion, and a physician. Patients had a mean Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 21.8. For patients, 49% of their interactions involved agreement and approval (positive statements), 16% psychosocial information, 7% biomedical information, 7% asking questions, and 7% expressing emotion. Companion interactions involved 37% positive statements and 19% biomedical information. Physician interactions involved emotional expressiveness (30%) and positive statements (19%). Discussion length was positively related to MMSE score (Spearman rho=0.45; P < .02). Coverage of required elements of informed consent was fairly comprehensive and had no relationship to patients' MMSE scores. CONCLUSION: These data should inform policies regarding the ethically appropriate ways of conducting research with cognitively impaired adults. For example, patients in this study were more silent than their companions and the physician, but when patients spoke, they primarily agreed with what was said. Although this might first seem to signal assent, such an interpretation should be made with caution for persons with dementia. In addition, previous work on informed consent has focused on its cognitive aspects, but these data reveal that the emotional and social dimensions warrant attention.
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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