'I still have no idea why this patient was here': An exploration of the difficulties GP trainees experience when gathering information.
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 98, 7, (2015), pp. 837-842
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: Collecting information during patient encounters is essential for the delivery of patient-centered care. To obtain insight into areas that require more attention in medical communication training, this study explores what difficulties GP trainees encounter when gathering information. METHODS: In this phenomenological study, we observed a morning clinic of 15 GP trainees. To explore trainees' experiences with information-gathering, we held brief interviews after every consultation and a lengthier interview directly after the morning clinic. The resulting data were analyzed using template analysis. RESULTS: From trainees' reflections, we distilled five difficulties that trainees experience when gathering information: (1) Goal conflicts; (2) Ineffectiveness of trained communication skills in specific situations; (3) Trainees' distress hampers open communication; (4) Untrustworthy information; (5) Tunnel vision. CONCLUSION: Information-gathering is difficult for GP trainees. Current generic communication skills training does not seem to support trainees sufficiently to handle effectively the challenges they encounter during consultations. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Medical communication training needs to support trainees in handling their goal-conflicts and feelings that hamper information-gathering, while also providing them with communication strategies adapted to handling specific challenging situations.
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