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Patient-Centered Communication

Quality communication between physicians and patients is critical to improving and maintaining positive health care. Research indicates that when physicians fail to be adequately responsive to patients’ issues or concerns, it may lead patients to feel more like objects than human beings. Conversely, more positive relations and heightened understanding between doctors and patients can lead to a range of positive outcomes, including higher levels of treatment adherence, patient satisfaction, decreased malpractice claims, and overall better patient health outcomes. Given the link between positive doctor–patient relations and improved health, substantial research exists aimed at identifying methods for improving interactions occurring between physicians and patients. Of the varied approaches employed during medical visits, communication and public health researchers frequently promote the use of more patient-centered communication strategies.

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