How doctors move from generic goals to specific communicative behavior in real practice consultations
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 90, 2, (2013), pp. 170-176
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectNCEBP 3: Implementation Science; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health; NCEBP 3: Implementation Science
OBJECTIVE: To understand how recommendations for communication can be brought into alignment with clinical communication routines, we explored how doctors select communicative actions during consultations. METHODS: We conducted stimulated recall interviews with 15 GPs (general practitioners), asking them to comment on recordings of two consultations. The data analysis was based on the principles of grounded theory. RESULTS: A model describing how doctors select communicative actions during consultations was developed. This model illustrates how GPs constantly adapt their selection of communicative actions to their evaluation of the situation. These evaluations culminate in the selection of situation-specific goals. These multiple and often dynamic goals require constant revision and adaptation of communication strategies, leading to constant readjustments of the selection of communicative actions. When selecting consultation goals GPs weigh patients' needs and preferences as well as the medical situation and its consequences. CONCLUSIONS: GPs' selection of communicative actions during consultations is situational and goal driven. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: To help doctors develop communicative competence tailored to the specific situation of each consultation, holistic communication training courses, which pay attention to the selection of consultation goals and matching communication strategies besides training specific communication skills, seem preferable to current generic communication skills training.
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