HOWARD B. BECKMAN, M.D.; RICHARD M. FRANKEL, Ph.D.
Determining the patient's major reasons for seeking care is of critical importance in a successful medical encounter. To study the physician's role in soliciting and developing the patient's concerns at the outset of a clinical encounter, 74 office visits were recorded. In only 17 (23%) of the visits was the patient provided the opportunity to complete his or her opening statement of concerns. In 51 (69%) of the visits the physician interrupted the patient's statement and directed questions toward a specific concern; in only 1 of these 51 visits was the patient afforded the opportunity to complete the opening statement. In six (8%) return visits, no solicitation whatever was made. Physicians play an active role in regulating the quantity of information elicited at the beginning of the clinical encounter, and use closed-ended questioning to control the discourse. The consequence of this controlled style is the premature interruption of patients, resulting in the potential loss of relevant information.
BECKMAN HB, FRANKEL RM. The Effect of Physician Behavior on the Collection of Data. Ann Intern Med. 1984;101:692–696. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-101-5-692
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(5):692-696.
Cardiology, Coronary Risk Factors, Hospital Medicine, Hypertension, Infectious Disease.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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