Communication theorists suggest that patient centred doctors allow patients to talk about their full range of symptoms and ask the patients open questions. By doing this they are able to learn more about a patients’ condition and therefore provide treatment tailored to the patients needs.
Doctor centred consultations however involve the doctor concentrating upon one major symptom and asking closed questions ( a patient can say either yes or no). A prescription is then provided to treat the major symptom. Research has found that the patient-centred approach was the better of the two because the latter left many patient confused. This was they felt they couldn’t ask the doctor questions about their concerns and therefore they were left confused, due to anxiety about their condition and preoccupations. This may lead to the patient losing their concentration and therefore missing vital information provided by the doctors. This is because the patient feels that they can trust the doctor more and they feel that they can speak to the doctor about their problems and therefore they can be solved effectively.
Doctor patient relationships:
Activity passivity In this case the doctor exploits their authority that they have over the patient. This means that the patient doesn’t actively participate in the treatment. This type of relationship is effective for treatment in emergencies as it ensure that answers are gained quickly to ensure the patient can be treated quickly. The patient simply accepts the authority of the doctor and the decisions they make. However, because the doctor asks all the questions the feelings of the patient aren’t established;this may affect the type of treatment that can be provided for the patient.
In this relationship the doctor still has considerable authority over the patient, but the patient participates in the consultation to ensure that the treatment options available to the patient are best suited to the individual. The outcome is still the same; the doctor gets what they want but the patient will feel more reassured by the treatment provided.
MUTUAL PARTICPATION The doctor and the patient act as partners within the relationships this ensures that the patients are reassured about desirous diagnosis. On the downside however, this may lead to the patient believing they cannot survive without the survive without constant contact with the doctor.
Many studies have been carried out by researchers to discover how information given by doctors and other health care professionals is recalled after it has been provided to the patients. Ley (1988) summarised the findings of many studies that have been carried out. He found that information given to the patient first was recalled best by the patient (This is known as the primacy effect). He also found that if patients perceived the information to be important that they would recall the information better. This evidence could be applied in the hospital setting to improve the chances of patients recalling the most important information. To ensure this it is important that the most important piece of information that the health care professional wishes to communicate with the patient is given first.