Paul D. Cleary, PhD
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Cleary PD. Changing Clinician Behavior: Necessary Path to Improvement or Impossible Dream?. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:859-860. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-11-199912070-00010
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(11):859-860.
Because the outcomes of many clinical interventions are influenced by the quality of clinician-patient communication, improving communication skills is an important goal. Studies have demonstrated that the quality of communication in clinical encounters also affects the likelihood that patients will use medications correctly and will follow other treatment recommendations.
In this issue, Brown and colleagues (1) describe a randomized trial to improve the communication skills of primary care and subspecialist physicians, surgeons, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. During the trial, 37 of 69 clinicians in Kaiser Permanente Northwest Division were randomly assigned to participate in a communication skills training program. The authors measured the effect of the program by sending a survey to patients who had had recent ambulatory care visits. Participating clinicians believed that the program improved their communication skills, but patients' assessments of clinicians in the intervention group and those in the control group showed no difference in degree of improvement
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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