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Listening in Health Care Interactions

  • By: Graham D. Bodie & Helen Meldrum
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The health care system fundamentally entails people helping people. The system's functioning is thus tied to the quality of relationships established between patients and their health care providers—the myriad mental, spiritual, and physical health practitioners who are integral to patients' health and well-being across the life span. From the beginning of a health care provider–patient (HCPP) relationship, communication is the key mechanism driving important proximal and distal outcomes such as satisfaction with and quality of care. Many of the thousands of medical errors reported annually are the result of listening failures on the part of one or more health care providers. The importance of quality relationships built on satisfying HCPP interactions is solidified by the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) “Crossing the Quality Chasm” report, as ...

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