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Effect of Clinician Communication Skills Training on Patient Satisfaction: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Jonathan Betz Brown, MPP, PhD; Myde Boles, PhD; John P. Mullooly, PhD; and Wendy Levinson, MD
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Acknowledgments: The authors thank the many persons whose generosity and expertise made this project possible, including Ron Potts, MD; Tom Janisse, MD; Wendy Ray; Meg Graue; Phil Brenes, MD; Chris Overton; and Greg Nichols, PhD. The authors also thank Christopher Kelleher for his organizational and editorial contributions.

Grant Support: By Kaiser Permanente's Sidney Garfield Memorial Fund (grant no. 101-9087). The Art of Medicine survey was produced by HealthCare Research, Inc., and is a registered trademark of that company.

Requests for Reprints: Jonathan Betz Brown, MPP, PhD, Center for Health Research, 3800 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97227-1098; e-mail, jonathan.brown@kp.org. For reprint orders in quantities exceeding 100, please contact the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Brown, Boles, and Mullooly: Center for Health Research, 3800 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97227-1098.

Dr. Levinson: General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 6098, Chicago, IL 60637.


Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(11):822-829. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-131-11-199912070-00004
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In a competitive health care environment, clinicians and health plans are eager to achieve the highest quality of care and the highest levels of patient satisfaction. Studies consistently show that effective communication between clinicians and patients is a critical determinant of patient satisfaction (17). To improve patient satisfaction, many organizations provide communication skills training programs for clinicians. These programs usually include 4 to 8 hours of instruction and are held during regular office hours (812). Because clinicians may need to be relieved from clinical responsibilities to attend, such programs can be expensive for both the clinicians and their organizations.

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Summary for Patients

Communications Skills Training for Health Care Providers and Patient Satisfaction

The summary below is from the full report titled “Effect of Clinician Communication Skills Training on Patient Satisfaction. A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” It is in the 7 December 1999 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 131, pages 822-829). The authors are J.B. Brown, M. Boles, J.P. Mullooly, and W. Levinson.

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