Resources
Bibiliography and Abstracts of RIAS Studies through 2014

Following are abstracts of RIAS studies, listed in alphabetical order by first author. Just click on a letter below to view the abstracts by the author's last name. Monographs and doctoral theses have their own page.

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S

T     U     V     W     X     Y     Z     Monographs & Theses

M

Maatouk-Bürmann B, Ringel N, Spang J, Weiss C, Möltner A, Riemann U, Langewitz W, Schultz JH, Jünger J. Improving patient-centered communication: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Jan;99(1):117-24.
(Communication Skills/Training, Primary Care, Germany)
OBJECTIVE: Patient-centered communication is a key element for improving the quality of care in terms of therapeutic relationship, patient participation, and treatment process. Postgraduate trainings provide an essential way of promoting patient centeredness on the job where learning opportunities are often limited by time, patient volume, and economic pressure. In the present study, changes in patient centeredness during clinical routines of postgraduate physicians (internal medicine) after a three-day communication training were assessed. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in a primary care clinic. The intervention consisted of a communication training that aimed to enhance patient centeredness in postgraduate physicians. The training was based on a need assessment and the principles of deliberate practice. Workplace-based assessment of physicians' communication behavior was obtained using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. RESULTS: Three months after the intervention, trained physicians showed significantly increased patient centeredness (F=5.36, p=.04; d=0.42). CONCLUSION: The communication training significantly improved patient centeredness during routine clinical practice. Thus, this training provides a structured and theory-based concept to foster patient centeredness. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The results support the implementation of communication trainings as a part of faculty development and medical specialization training. KEYWORDS: Communication training; Doctor–patient relationship; Patient centeredness; Patient-centered communication; RCT; RIAS

Maclachlan EW, Shepard-Perry MG, Ingo P, Uusiku J, Mushimba R, Simwanza R, Likoro J, Brandt LJ, Thomas KK,Kasonka C, Hamunime N, O'Malley G. Evaluating the effectiveness of patient education and empowerment to improve patient-provider interactions in antiretroviral therapy clinics in Namibia. AIDS Care. 2016 May;28(5):620-7.
(HIV/AIDS, Patient Education, Namibia) Abstract: In order to increase patient active engagement during patient-provider interactions, we developed and implemented patient training sessions in four antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics in Namibia using a "Patient Empowerment" training curriculum. We examined the impact of these trainings on patient-provider interactions after the intervention. We tested the effectiveness of the intervention using a randomized parallel group design, with half of the 589 enrolled patients randomly assigned to receive the training immediately and the remaining randomized to receive the training 6 months later. The effects of the training on patient engagement during medical consultations were measured at each clinic visit for at least 8 months of follow-up. Each consultation was audiotaped and then coded using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). RIAS outcomes were compared between study groups at 6 months. Using intention-to-treat analysis, consultations in the intervention group had significantly higher RIAS scores in doctor facilitation and patient activation (adjusted difference in score 1.19, p = .004), doctor information gathering (adjusted difference in score 2.96, p = .000), patient question asking (adjusted difference in score .48, p = .012), and patient positive affect (adjusted difference in score 2.08, p = .002). Other measures were higher in the intervention group but did not reach statistical significance. We have evidence that increased engagement of patients in clinical consultation can be achieved via a targeted training program, although outcome data were not available on all patients. The patient training program was successfully integrated into ART clinics so that the trainings complemented other services being provided. KEYWORDS: ART services; Impact evaluation; empowerment; medical dialogue; patient–provider communication; randomized controlled trial.

Mann S, Sripathy K, Siegler EL, Davidow A, Lipkin M, Roter DL. The medical interview: differences between adult and geriatric outpatients. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Jan;49(1):65-71. (Geriatrics, Patient Satisfaction, Physician Satisfaction, United States)
BACKGROUND: There is a perception that primary care physicians spend less time with older patients and little is known about physician and older patient satisfaction during clinical encounters. OBJECTIVE: To determine how primary care interviews of geriatric patients differ from those of other adults. DESIGN: Descriptive, analytic study. SETTING: Ten primary care sites in the United States and one in Canada, including public, voluntary, and private clinics and practices. PARTICIPANTS: Of the 544 patients, 45.6% were 65 and older and 17.8% were 75 or older. There were 127 participating physicians. MEASUREMENTS: Encounters were audiotaped and analyzed. Patients and physicians also completed exit questionnaires. RESULTS: Interview length increased significantly with age for men but not for women. Physician satisfaction did not change as patient age increased. Patient satisfaction, on the other hand decreased with age among women but not for men. Although physicians' and younger patients' perceptions of health were moderately associated, there was no association for men ages 75 and over. CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence that physicians spend less time or are more uncomfortable with older patients. Both physician and male patient satisfaction remain stable with increasing patient age, despite greater disparity in patient and physician perceptions of health. Older female patients are less satisfied with physician visits than their younger counterparts, in the absence of changes in interview length or disparities between older female patients and their physicians in health perception.

Margalit RS, Roter D, Dunevant MA, Larson S, Reis S. Electronic medical record use and physician-patient communication: an observational study of Israeli primary care encounters. Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Apr;61(1):134-41
(Electronic Medical Records, Primary Care, Israel)
OBJECTIVES: Within the context of medical care there is no greater reflection of the information revolution than the electronic medical record (EMR). Current estimates suggest that EMR use by Israeli physicians is now so high as to represent an almost fully immersed environment. This study examines the relationships between the extent of electronic medical record use and physician-patient communication within the context of Israeli primary care. METHODS: Based on videotapes of 3 Israeli primary care physicians and 30 of their patients, the extent of computer use was measured as number of seconds gazing at the computer screen and 3 levels of active keyboarding. Communication dynamics were analyzed through the application of a new Hebrew translation and adaptation of the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). RESULTS: Physicians spent close to one-quarter of visit time gazing at the computer screen, and in some cases as much as 42%; heavy keyboarding throughout the visit was evident in 24% of studied visits. Screen gaze and levels of keyboarding were both positively correlated with length of visit (r = .51, p < .001 and F(2,27) = 2.83, p < .08, respectively); however, keyboarding was inversely related to the amount of visit dialogue contributed by the physician (F(2,27) = 4.22, p < .02) or the patient (F(2,27) = 3.85, p < .05). Specific effects of screen gaze were inhibition of physician engagement in psychosocial question asking (r = -.39, p < .02) and emotional responsiveness (r = -.30, p < .10), while keyboarding increased biomedical exchange, including more questions about therapeutic regimen (F(2,27) = 4.78, p < .02) and more patient education and counseling (F(2,27) = 10.38, p < .001), as well as increased patient disclosure of medical information to the physician (F(2,27) =3.40, p < .05). A summary score reflecting overall patient-centered communication during the visit was negatively correlated with both screen gaze and keyboarding (r = -.33, p < .08 and F(2,27) = 3.19, p < .06, respectively). DISCUSSION: The computer has become a 'party' in the visit that demanded a significant portion of visit time. Gazing at the monitor was inversely related to physician engagement in psychosocial questioning and emotional responsiveness and to patient limited socio-emotional and psychosocial exchange during the visit. Keyboarding activity was inversely related to both physician and patient contribution to the medical dialogue. Patients may regard physicians' engrossment in the tasks of computing as disinterested or disengaged. Increase in visit length associated with EMR use may be attributed to keyboarding and computer gazing. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that the way in which physicians use computers in the examination room can negatively affect patient-centered practice by diminishing dialogue, particularly in the psychosocial and emotional realm. Screen gaze appears particularly disruptive to psychosocial inquiry and emotional responsiveness, suggesting that visual attentiveness to the monitor rather than eye contact with the patient may inhibit sensitive or full patient disclosure. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: We believe that training can help physicians optimize interpersonal and educationally effective use of the EMR. This training can assist physicians in overcoming the interpersonal distancing, both verbally and non-verbally, with which computer use is associated. Collaborative reading of the EMR can contribute to improved quality of care, enhance the decision-making process, and empower patients to participate in their own care.

Martin KD, Roter DL, Beach MC, Carson KA, Cooper LA. Physician communication behaviors and trust among black and white patients with hypertension. Med Care. 2013 Feb;51(2):151-7.
(Race/Cross-Culture, Primary Care, Communication Skills, United States)
BACKGROUND: Racial differences in patient trust have been observed, but it is unclear which physician communication behaviors are related to trust, and whether the relationship of communication and trust differs among black and white patients. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether there were associations between physician communication behaviors, visit process measures, and patient trust, particularly within racial groups. METHODS: Study participants included 39 primary care physicians and 227 black and white hypertensive patients from community-based practices in Baltimore, MD. Physician informational and affective communication behaviors and visit process measures were coded from visit audiotapes using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. Patient trust was measured using items from the Trust in Physician Scale, and dichotomized (high/low). Logistic regression analysis using generalized estimating equations was used to assess the association of each physician communication behavior and visit process measure with patient trust, among the entire sample and then stratified by patient race. RESULTS: Positive physician affect and longer visits were significantly associated with high patient trust in unadjusted analyses. After adjustment for covariates, positive physician affect remained a significant predictor of high patient trust in the overall sample (odds ratio 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.08, 1.48; P=0.004) and after stratification by race, among black patients (odds ratio 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.09, 1.67; P=0.006). CONCLUSIONS: Physician communication behaviors may have a varying effect on patient trust, depending on patient race. Communication skills training programs targeting emotion-handling and rapport-building behaviors are promising strategies to reduce disparities in health care and to enhance trust among ethnic minority patients.

Martin L, Gitsels-van der Wal JT, Pereboom MT, Spelten ER, Hutton EK, van Dulmen S. Clients' psychosocial communication and midwives' verbal and nonverbal communication during prenatal counseling for anomaly screening. Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Jan;99(1):85-91.
(Prenatal, Patient Distress/Emotion/Cues, The Netherlands)
OBJECTIVES: This study focuses on facilitation of clients' psychosocial communication during prenatal counseling for fetal anomaly screening. We assessed how psychosocial communication by clients is related to midwives' psychosocial and affective communication, client-directed gaze and counseling duration. METHODS: During 184 videotaped prenatal counseling consultations with 20 Dutch midwives, verbal psychosocial and affective behavior was measured by the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). We rated the duration of client-directed gaze. We performed multilevel analyses to assess the relation between clients' psychosocial communication and midwives' psychosocial and affective communication, client-directed gaze and counseling duration. RESULTS: Clients' psychosocial communication was higher if midwives' asked more psychosocial questions and showed more affective behavior (β=0.90; CI: 0.45-1.35; p<0.00 and β=1.32; CI: 0.18-2.47; p=0.025, respectively). Clients "psychosocial communication was not related to midwives" client-directed gaze. Additionally, psychosocial communication by clients was directly, positively related to the counseling duration (β=0.59; CI: 0.20-099; p=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: In contrast with our expectations, midwives' client-directed gaze was not related with psychosocial communication of clients. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: In addition to asking psychosocial questions, our study shows that midwives' affective behavior and counseling duration is likely to encourage client's psychosocial communication, known to be especially important for facilitating decision-making.

Martin L, Gitsels-van der Wal JT, Pereboom MT, Spelten ER, Hutton EK, van Dulmen S. Midwives' perceptions of communication during videotaped counseling for prenatal anomaly tests: How do they relate to clients' perceptions and independent observations? Patient Educ Couns. 2015 May;98(5):588-597.
(The Netherlands, Prenatal, Video, Communication Skills/Training)
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide insight into Dutch midwives' self-evaluation of prenatal counseling for anomaly screening in real life practice and, the degree of congruence of midwives' self-assessments with clients' perceptions and with observed performance. METHODS: Counseling sessions were videotaped. We used the QUOTE prenatal questionnaire to have each midwife (N=20) and her client (N=240) rate the prenatal counseling that they had together. We used an adapted version of the RIAS video-coding system to assess actual counseling during videotaped prenatal counseling (N=240). RESULTS: Midwives perceived the following functions of counseling performed well: 100% of Client-Counselor relation (CCR); 80% of Health Education (HE); and 17% Decision-Making Support (DMS). Congruence on HE of midwives with observers and with clients was >=75%; congruence on DMS was higher between midwives and observers (80%) compared to midwives and clients (62%). CONCLUSION: Midwives perceive that during prenatal counseling the CCR and HE functions of counseling were performed well, whereas DMS was not. Furthermore, this study shows incongruence between midwives and clients about the discussion during DMS, indicating DMS is more difficult to assess than HE. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The best way to measure prenatal counseling practice might be by using assessments of different sources within one study.

Martin L, Hutton EK, Gitsels-van der Wal JT, Spelten ER, Kuiper F, Pereboom MT, van Dulmen S. Antenatal counselling for congenital anomaly tests: An exploratory video-observational study about client-midwife communication. Midwifery. 2014 May 13.
(Antenatal Counseling, The Netherlands)
OBJECTIVE: Antenatal counselling for congenital anomaly tests is conceptualised as having both Health Education (HE) and Decision-Making Support (DMS) functions. Building and maintaining a client-midwife relation (CMR) is seen as a necessary condition for enabling these two counselling functions. However, little is known about how these functions are fulfilled in daily practice. This study aims to describe the relative expression of the antenatal counselling functions; to describe the ratio of client versus midwife conversational contribution and to get insight into clients? characteristics, which are associated with midwives? expressions of the functions of antenatal counselling. DESIGN: Exploratory video-observational study. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: 269 videotaped antenatal counselling sessions for congenital anomaly tests provided by 20 midwives within six Dutch practices. MEASUREMENTS: We used an adapted version of the Roter Interaction Analysis System to code the client-midwife communication. Multilevel linear regression analyses were used to analyse associations between clients' characteristics and midwifes' expressions of antenatal counselling in practice. FINDINGS: Most utterances made during counselling were coded as HE (41%); a quarter as DMS (23%) and 36% as CMR. Midwives contributed the most to the HE compared to clients or their partners (91% versus 9%) and less to the DMS function of counselling (61% versus 39%). Multilevel analyses showed an independent association between parity and shorter duration of antenatal counselling; (β=-3.01; p<p;0.001). The amount of utterances concerning HE and DMS during counselling of multipara was less compared to nulliparous. KEY CONCLUSIONS: Antenatal counselling for congenital anomaly tests by midwives is focused on giving HE compared to DMS. The relatively low contribution of clients during DMS might indicate poor DMS given by midwives. Counselling of multipara was significantly shorter than counselling of nulliparous; multiparae received less HE as well as DMS compared to nulliparous women. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Our findings should encourage midwives to reflect on the process of antenatal counselling they offer with regards to the way they address the three antenatal counselling functions during counselling of nulliparous women compared to multiparae.

Massey M, Roter DL. Assessment of immigrant certified nursing assistants' communication when responding to standardized care challenges. Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Jan;99(1):44-50.
(Computer Use/Simulation, Paraprofessionals, United States)
OBJECTIVE: Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide 80% of the hands-on care in US nursing homes; a significant portion of this work is performed by immigrants with limited English fluency. This study is designed to assess immigrant CNA's communication behavior in response to a series of virtual simulated care challenges. METHODS: A convenience sample of 31 immigrant CNAs verbally responded to 9 care challenges embedded in an interactive computer platform. The responses were coded with the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS), CNA instructors rated response quality and spoken English was rated. RESULTS: CNA communication behaviors varied across care challenges and a broad repertoire of communication was used; 69% of response content was characterized as psychosocial. Communication elements (both instrumental and psychosocial) were significant predictors of response quality for 5 of 9 scenarios. Overall these variables explained between 13% and 36% of the adjusted variance in quality ratings. CONCLUSION: Immigrant CNAs responded to common care challenges using a variety of communication strategies despite fluency deficits. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Virtual simulation-based observation is a feasible, acceptable and low cost method of communication assessment with implications for supervision, training and evaluation of a para-professional workforce. KEYWORDS: Certified nursing assistant; Computer simulation; Immigrant workforce; RIAS

McArthur M, Fitzgerald J. Evaluation of a Communication Skills Training Program for Companion-Animal Veterinarians: A Pilot Study Using RIAS Coding. J Vet Med Educ. 2016 Mar 11:1-15.
(Veterinary Medicine, Communication Skills/Training, Australia)
Abstract: Effective veterinarian communication skills training and the related key outcomes provided the impetus for this study. We implemented a pre-experimental pre-test/post-test single-group design with a sample of 13 veterinarians and their 71 clients to evaluate the effects of a 6.5-hour communication skills intervention for veterinarians. Consultations were audiotaped and analyzed with the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Clients completed the Consultation and Relational Care Measure, a global satisfaction scale, a Parent Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale, and the Adherence Intent measure. Veterinarians completed a communication confidence measure and a workshop satisfaction scale. Contrary to expectation, neither veterinarian communication skills nor their confidence improved post-training. Despite client satisfaction and perceptions of veterinarians' relational communication skills not increasing, clients nevertheless reported an increased intent to adhere to veterinarian recommendations. This result is important because client adherence is critical to managing and enhancing the health and wellbeing of animals. The results of the study suggest that while the workshop was highly regarded, either the duration of the training or practice opportunities were insufficient or a booster session was required to increase veterinarian confidence and integration of new skills. Future research should utilize a randomized control study design to investigate the appropriate intervention with which to achieve change in veterinarian communication skills. Such change could translate to more effective interactions in veterinarians' daily lives. KEYWORDS: RIAS; client adherence; client satisfaction; communication confidence; communication skills; training; veterinarian

McArthur ML, Fitzgerald JR. Companion animal veterinarians' use of clinical communication skills. Aust Vet J. 2013 Sep;91(9):374-80.
(Veterinary Medicine, Client Satisfaction; Australia)
OBJECTIVE: To describe the communication techniques used by clients and veterinarians during companion animal visits in Australia. DESIGN: A cross-sectional descriptive study. METHODS: A total of 64 veterinary consultations were audiotaped and analysed with the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS); clients completed appointment level measures, including their satisfaction and perceptions of relational communication. RESULTS: Participants were 24 veterinarians and 64 clients. Statements intended to reassure clients were expressed frequently in the consultations, but in 59% of appointments empathy statements were not expressed towards either the client or the patient. In 10% of appointments, veterinarians did not used any open-ended questions. Overall client satisfaction was high and veterinarians' expressions of empathy directed to the client resulted in higher levels of client satisfaction. Clients' perceptions of relational communication were related to several veterinarian and client nonverbal scales. CONCLUSIONS: A focus on developing evidence-based clinical communication skills is expected to further enhance the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and associated clinical outcomes. Particular recommendations include the development of a broader emotion-handling repertoire, increased emphasis on the use of open-ended enquiry, including assessment of the client's perspective, as well as attention to aspects of nonverbal communication. The study provides preliminary evidence for the importance of verbal expressions of empathy during the companion animal consultation.

McCarthy DM, Buckley BA, Engel KG, Forth VE, Adams JG, Cameron KA. Understanding patient-provider conversations: what are we talking about? Acad Emerg Med. 2013 May;20(5):441-8.
(Emergency Medicine, United States)
OBJECTIVES: Effective patient-provider communication is a critical aspect of the delivery of high-quality patient care; however, research regarding the conversational dynamics of an overall emergency department (ED) visit remains unexplored. Identifying both patterns and relative frequency of utterances within these interactions will help guide future efforts to improve the communication between patients and providers within the ED setting. The objective of this study was to analyze complete audio recordings of ED visits to characterize these conversations and to determine the proportion of the conversation spent on different functional categories of communication. METHODS: Patients at an urban academic ED with four diagnoses (ankle sprain, back pain, head injury, and laceration) were recruited to have their ED visits audio recorded from the time of room placement until discharge. Patients were excluded if they were age < 18 years, were non-English-speaking, had significant history of psychiatric disease or cognitive impairment, or were medically unstable. Audio editing was performed to remove all silent downtime and non-patient-provider conversations. Audiotapes were analyzed using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). RIAS is the most widely used medical interaction analysis system; coders assign each "utterance" (or complete thought) spoken by the patient or provider to one of 41 mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all 41 categories and then grouped according to RIAS standards for "functional groupings." The percentage of total utterances in each functional grouping is reported. RESULTS: Twenty-six audio recordings were analyzed. Patient participants had a mean (±SD) age of 38.8 (±16.0) years, and 30.8% were male. Intercoder reliability was good, with mean intercoder correlations of 0.76 and 0.67 for all categories of provider and patient talk, respectively. Providers accounted for the majority of the conversation in the tapes (median = 239 utterances, interquartile range [IQR] = 168 to 308) compared to patients (median = 145 utterances, IQR = 80 to 198). Providers' utterances focused most on patient education and counseling (34%), followed by patient facilitation and activation (e.g., orienting the patient to the next steps in the ED or asking if the patient understood; 30%). Approximately 15% of the provider talk was spent on data gathering, with the majority (86%) focusing on biomedical topics rather than psychosocial topics (14%). Building a relationship with the patient (e.g., social talk, jokes/laughter, showing approval, or empathetic statements) constituted 22% of providers' talk. Patients' conversation was mainly focused in two areas: information giving (47% of patient utterances: 83% biomedical, 17% psychosocial) and building a relationship (45% of patient utterances). Only 5% of patients' utterances were devoted to question asking. Patient-centeredness scores were low. CONCLUSIONS: In this sample, both providers and patients spent a significant portion of their talk time providing information to one another, as might be expected in the fast-paced ED setting. Less expected was the result that a large percentage of both provider and patient utterances focused on relationship building, despite the lack of traditional, longitudinal provider-patient relationships.

McKinstry B, Hammersley V, Burton C, Pinnock H, Elton R, Dowell J, Sawdon N, Heaney D, Elwyn G, Sheikh A. The quality, safety and content of telephone and face-to-face consultations: a comparative study. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010 Aug;19(4):298-303. Epub 2010 Apr 29.
(Telephone, Patient Safety, Scotland)
INTRODUCTION: Telephone consulting is increasingly used to improve access to care and optimise resources for day-time work. However, there remains a debate about how such consultations differ from face-to-face consultations in terms of content quality and/or safety. To investigate this, a comparison of family doctors' telephone and face-to-face consultations was conducted. METHODS: 106 audio-recordings (from 19 doctors in nine practices) of telephone and face-to-face consultations, stratified at doctor level, were compared using the Roter Interaction Analysis Scale (RIAS) (content measure), the OPTION (observing patient involvement in decision making scale) and a modified scale based on the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) consultation assessment instrument (measuring quality and safety). Patient satisfaction and enablement were measured using validated instruments. The Roter Interaction Analysis Scale scores were compared by multiple linear regression adjusting for covariates; other continuous measures by chi(2) and Student t tests and binary measures as odds ratios. RESULTS: Telephone consultations were shorter (4.6 vs 9.7 min, p < 0.001), presented fewer problems (1.2 vs 1.8, p < 0.001) and included less data gathering, counselling/advice and rapport building (all p < 0.001) than face-to-face consultations. These differences remained significant when consultation length and number of problems were taken into account. Telephone consultations were judged less likely to include sufficient information to exclude important serious illnesses. Patient involvement and satisfaction outcomes were similar in both consultation types. CONCLUSION: Although telephone consultations are convenient and judged satisfactory by patients and doctors, they may compromise patient safety more than face-to-face consultations and further research is required to elucidate this. Telephone consultations may be more suited to follow-up and management of long-term conditions than for in-hours acute management.

Mead N, Bower P, Hann M. The impact of general practitioners’ patient-centredness on patients’ post-consultation satisfaction and enablement. Soc Sci Med 2002:55:283-299.
(Primary Care, United Kingdom)
The concept of patient-centredness is complex, but is generally seen as an approach that emphasizes, on the part of the health profession, attention to patients’ psychosocial (as well as physical) needs, the use of psychotherapeutic behaviours to convey a sense of partnership and positive regard, and active facilitation of patients’ involvement in decision-making about their care. To date, there is little consistent evidence that doctors’ use of a “patient-centred” consulting style leads to better patient outcomes. However, previous studies have been limited by a lack of conceptual clarity and methodological consensus, and by the absence of a clear theoretical framework linking patient-centredness to outcomes. In this study, three specific, conceptually distinct dimensions of a patient-centred consulting style were operationalised: the “biopsychosocial perspective”, “sharing power and responsibility” and the “therapeutic alliance”. These dimensions were measured in terms of three “socio-emotional” and two “task-relevant” general practitioner (GP) behaviours, using in-depth observational techniques applied to 173 videotaped GP consultations. Theoretically-derived hypotheses were tested concerning relationships between these patient-centred behaviours and two different consultation outcomes: patient satisfaction and enablement. Multivariate regression showed that GPs’ patient-centred behaviours did not predict either outcome. The robustness of these findings is considered within the context of study strengths and weaknesses, and implications for future research are discussed.

Meeuwesen L, Bensing J, van den Brink-Muinen A. Communicating fatigue in general practice and the role of gender. Patient Educ Couns. 2002 Dec;48(3):233-42.
(Primary Care, Gender, Netherlands)
The aim of this study has been to obtain more insight into the health condition of fatigued patients, their expectations when visiting the general practitioner (GP), the way they communicate, and possible gender differences. Data consisted of 579 patient questionnaires and 440 video-observations of these patients and 31 GPs. Results showed that fatigue is a common health problem but seldom on the agenda in general practice. More women indicated symptoms of fatigue than men did. Fatigued patients' health was worse than that of non-fatigued patients, and they expected more biomedical and especially psychosocial communication. Furthermore, male fatigued patients expected more biomedical communication than fatigued female patients did. While the GPs accommodated their verbal behavior to fatigued patients by giving more psychosocial information and more counseling, they were not more affective towards the fatigued than towards the non-fatigued patients. Female GPs were more affective than their male colleagues, and they used gender-specific communication strategies to explore the patient's agenda. It seems necessary to use a gender-sensitive approach in communication research.

Meeuwesen L, Harmsen JA, Bernsen RM, Bruijnzeels MA. Do Dutch doctors communicate differently with immigrant patients than with Dutch patients? Soc Sci Med. 2006 Nov;63(9):2407-17.
(Cross-Cultural, Netherlands)
The aim of this study was to gain deeper insight into relational aspects of the medical communication pattern in intercultural consultations at GP practices in the Netherlands. We ask whether there are differences in the verbal interaction of Dutch GPs with immigrant and Dutch patients. Data were drawn from 144 adult patient interviews and video observations of consultations between the patients and 31 Dutch GPs. The patient group consisted of 61 non-Western immigrants (Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese, Antillean, Cape Verdian) and 83 Dutch participants. Affective and instrumental aspects of verbal communication were assessed using Roter's Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Patients' cultural background was assessed by ethnicity, language proficiency, level of education, religiosity and cultural views (in terms of being more traditional or more modern). Consultations with the non-Western immigrant patients (especially those from Turkey and Morocco) were well over 2 min shorter, and the power distance between GPs and these patients was greater when compared to the Dutch patients. Major differences in verbal interaction were observed on the affective behavior dimensions, but not on the instrumental dimensions. Doctors invested more in trying to understand the immigrant patients, while in the case of Dutch patients they showed more involvement and empathy. Dutch patients seemed to be more assertive in the medical conversation. The differences are discussed in terms of patients' ethnic background, cultural views (e.g. practicing a religion) and linguistic barriers. It is concluded that attention to cultural diversity does matter, as this leads to different medical communication patterns. A two-way strategy is recommended for improving medical communication, with implications for both doctor and patient behavior.

Meeuwesen L, van den Brink-Muinen A, Hofstede G. Can dimensions of national culture predict cross-national differences in medical communication? Patient Educ Couns 2009 Apr;75(1):58-66.
(Cross-Cultural, Netherlands)
OBJECTIVE: This study investigated at a country level how cross-national differences in medical communication can be understood from the first four of Hofstede's cultural dimensions, i.e. power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism and masculinity/femininity, together with national wealth. METHODS: A total of 307 general practitioners (GPs) and 5820 patients from Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland participated in the study. Medical communication was videotaped and assessed using Roter's interaction analysis system (RIAS). Additional context information of physicians (gender, job satisfaction, risk-taking and belief of psychological influence on diseases) and patients (gender, health condition, diagnosis and medical encounter expectations) was gathered by using questionnaires. RESULTS: Countries differ considerably form each other in terms of culture dimensions. The larger a nation's power distance, the less room there is for unexpected information exchange and the shorter the consultations are. Roles are clearly described and fixed. The higher the level of uncertainty avoidance, the less attention is given to rapport building, e.g. less eye contact. In 'masculine' countries there is less instrumental communication in the medical interaction, which was contrary to expectations. In wealthy countries, more attention is given to psychosocial communication. CONCLUSION: The four culture dimensions, together with countries' wealth, contribute importantly to the understanding of differences in European countries' styles of medical communication. Their predictive power reaches much further than explanations along the north/south or east/west division of Europe. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The understanding of these cross-national differences is a precondition for the prevention of intercultural miscommunication. Improved understanding may occur at microlevel in the medical encounter, as well as on macrolevel in pursuing more effective cooperation and integration of European health care policies.

Meredith LS, Mazel RM. Counseling for depression by primary care providers. Int J Psychiatry Med 2000;30(4):343-65.
(Primary Care, United States)
OBJECTIVE: Primary care providers (PCPs) deliver a significant amount of depression care, yet little is known about the content of clinical encounters with depressed patients. We describe the extent to which PCP's encounters with depressed and non-depressed patients involve psychotherapeutic counseling relative to other types of counseling during primary care visits. METHOD: Cross-sectional evaluation of audiotaped office visits between October 1997 and September 1998 with 154 patients of 27 PCPs at three Veterans' Health Administration clinics in California. Using the Roter Interaction Analysis System, we coded conversation into mutually exclusive talk categories and developed specific measures of depression counseling coded for sequences of depression talk. Analysis of variance and covariance was used to evaluate differences in counseling by depression type adjusted for encounter length, previous depression treatment, patient characteristics, and provider clustering. RESULTS: PCPs delivered significantly more depression care (assessed using coded audiotapes of patient visits) to their patients with major depression compared with patients who had no depression or symptoms but no disorder. However, counseling using psychotherapeutic techniques did not differ by depression level and was equivalent for patients with major depression and subthreshold relative to non-depressed. Encounters with patients who had major depression included more talk about depression, devoted more time to discussing depression, and included more depression talk per minute. PCP encounters with depressed patients also included less biomedical talk compared to other groups. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that PCPs do provide depression counseling to their patients who need it the most. Whether counseling is associated with appropriate treatment and subsequent outcomes will require additional research.

Meystre C, Bourquin C, Despland JN, Stiefel F, de Roten Y. Working alliance in communication skills training for oncology clinicians: a controlled trial. Patient Educ Couns. 2013 Feb;90(2):233-8.
(Communication Skills/Training, Oncology, Standardized Patients, Switzerland)
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of communication skills training (CST) on working alliance and to identify specific communicational elements related to working alliance. METHODS: Pre- and post-training simulated patient interviews (6-month interval) of oncology physicians and nurses (N=56) who benefited from CST were compared to two simulated patient interviews with a 6-month interval of oncology physicians and nurses (N=57) who did not benefit from CST. The patient-clinician interaction was analyzed by means of the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Alliance was measured by the Working Alliance Inventory - Short Revised Form. RESULTS: While working alliance did not improve with CST, generalized linear mixed effect models demonstrated that the quality of verbal communication was related to alliance. Positive talk and psychosocial counseling fostered alliance whereas negative talk, biomedical information and patient's questions diminished alliance. CONCLUSION: Patient-clinician alliance is related to specific verbal communication behaviors. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Working alliance is a key element of patient-physician communication which deserves further investigation as a new marker and efficacy criterion of CST outcome.

Miller EA, Nelson EL. Modifying the Roter Interaction Analysis System to study provider-patient communication in telemedicine: promises, pitfalls, insights, and recommendations. Telemed J E Health. 2005 Feb;11(1):44-55.
(Telemedicine, United States)
This paper suggests modifications to the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS)--the most widely used measure for assessing provider-patient communication during conventional face-to-face consultations--for use in telemedicine. The RIAS, which describes and categorizes communication behaviors, is used to quantify communication events, which may then be correlated with patient, provider, and system attributes and health outcomes. Most of the changes suggested here add new coding subcategories to characterize technology-related utterances and to provide opportunities for global assessments of the overall technology environment within which provider-patient interactions took place. There are also general issues raised that interaction analysis researchers should consider when studying provider-patient communication in a telemedicine context. These relate to nonverbal behavior, multiple participants, missing information, and validity and reliability. In addition to comparing telemedicine to in person consultations, a modified RIAS could be used to compare televideo consultations to each other, across different specialties and technical specifications. A modified RIAS would accommodate not only differences in the current technology environment, but also changes in the way providers and patients communicate over time. The more we know about what interaction patterns lead to best outcomes, the more emphasis can be placed on developing training programs and other interventions to enhance patient-provider interactions in telemedicine.

Miller VA, Baker JN, Leek AC, Drotar D, Kodish E. Patient involvement in informed consent for pediatric phase I cancer research. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2014 Nov;36(8):635-40.
(Informed Consent, Pediatrics, United States)
OBJECTIVE: To examine children's and adolescents' involvement in the informed consent conference for phase I cancer trials and test associations with patient age, ease of understanding, and pressure to participate. PROCEDURE: Participants included 61 patients aged 7 through 21 years who were offered participation in a phase I trial. Consent conferences were audiotaped, transcribed, and coded for communication between patients and physicians and between patients and parents. RESULTS: On the basis of word counts, the mean proportion of the consent conference in which the physician was talking to the patient was 36%; the vast majority (73%) of this communication consisted of giving information. Physician-patient communication increased with age, but overall levels of patient-to-physician communication were low (3%). After controlling for patient age, greater physician-to-patient communication was associated with greater ease of understanding. CONCLUSIONS: The focus on providing information in the context of informed consent may come at the expense of other communication exchanges that are important to patients, especially in the context of end-of-life decisions. Children and adolescents may benefit from the assent process when physicians direct more of their communication to them. Future research should identify the reasons for low patient communication during the consent conference and strategies to enhance their participation in decision making about phase I trial enrollment.

Mjaaland TA, Finset A. Frequency of GP communication addressing the patient's resources and coping strategies in medical interviews: a video-based observational study. BMC Fam Pract. 2009 Jul 1;10:49.
(Primary Care, Communication Skills, Norway)
BACKGROUND: There is increasing focus on patient-centred communicative approaches in medical consultations, but few studies have shown the extent to which patients' positive coping strategies and psychological assets are addressed by general practitioners (GPs) on a regular day at the office. This study measures the frequency of GPs' use of questions and comments addressing their patients' coping strategies or resources. METHODS: Twenty-four GPs were video-recorded in 145 consultations. The consultations were coded using a modified version of the Roter Interaction Analysis System. In this study, we also developed four additional coding categories based on cognitive therapy and solution-focused therapy: attribution, resources, coping, and solution-focused techniques. The reliability between coders was established, a factor analysis was applied to test the relationship between the communication categories, and a tentative validating exercise was performed by reversed coding. RESULTS: Cohen's kappa was 0.52 between coders. Only 2% of the utterances could be categorized as resource or coping oriented. Six GPs contributed 59% of these utterances. The factor analysis identified two factors, one task oriented and one patient oriented. CONCLUSION: The frequency of communication about coping and resources was very low. Communication skills training for GPs in this field is required. Further validating studies of this kind of measurement tool are warranted.

Mjaaland TA, Finset A. Communication skills training for general practitioners to promote patient coping: the GRIP approach. Patient Educ Couns. 2009 Jul;76(1):84-90. Epub 2009 Jan 9.
(Primary Care, Communication Skills Training, Norway)
OBJECTIVE: To develop, perform and test the effects of a communication skills training program for general practitioners (GPs). The program specifically addresses the patients' coping and resources despite more or less severe psychological or physical illness. METHODS: A training model was developed, based on cognitive therapy and solution-focused therapy. The training was given the acronym GRIP after its main content: Get a measure of the patient's subjective complaints and illness attributions. Respond to the patient's understanding of the complaints. Identify resources and solutions. Promote positive coping. The study involved a quasi-experimental design in which 266 consultations with 25 GPs were video recorded. Forty hours of communication skills training were given to the intervention group. RESULTS: Consultation duration, patient age and distress determined the frequency of the GRIP communication. There was a significant effect of training on four particular subcategories of the GRIP techniques. The effect of the training was most evident in a subgroup of GPs who used little or no resource-oriented communication before training. CONCLUSION: This pilot training model may help change the GPs' communicative pattern with patients in some situations. PRACTICE IMPLICATION: Communication skills training programmes that emphasize patient attributions and personal resources should be developed further and tested in general practice settings with an aim to promote patient coping.

Muller I, Kirby S, Yardley L. The therapeutic relationship in telephone-delivered support for people undertaking rehabilitation: a mixed-methods interaction analysis. Disabil Rehabil. 2014 Aug 26:1-6.
(United Kingdom, Telephone, Interaction Analysis)
Abstract Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify communication features that may affect the development of the therapeutic relationship during telephone support sessions for people undertaking self-directed therapy. Methods: Recorded telephone support sessions of 61 people with chronic dizziness were analysed for communication behaviour using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Working alliance was assessed and was correlated with the RIAS to determine whether communication behaviour affected the therapeutic relationship. Thematic qualitative analysis of support sessions was then carried out to explore the content of sessions with high or low levels of person-centredness. Results: The level of person-centredness was related to the therapeutic relationship. High person-centred sessions were more likely to address concerns and include therapist reassurances about the safety of the treatment and its side effects. Conclusion: It is possible for rehabilitation therapists to build a strong therapeutic relationship very quickly and over the telephone. Person-centred communication is important for the development of the therapeutic relationship during telephone-delivered support. This research suggests how person-centred communicative behaviours, such as reassurance, encouragement and approval could be incorporated into practice. Implications for Rehabilitation Person-centred communication is important for the development of a strong therapeutic relationship during support for self-directed rehabilitation. It is possible for rehabilitation therapists to build a strong therapeutic relationship very quickly and over the telephone. Positive communication behaviours such as encouragement, approval, reassurance of safety, and responsiveness to participant cues aid the therapeutic relationship.

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