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Interpersonal Communication Skills

  • By: Carma Bylund
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Provider–patient communication plays an important role in patient outcomes such as adherence, satisfaction, and psychosocial well-being. Although good provider–patient communication involves more than just communication skills, communication skills are often emphasized because they are discrete and thus teachable and measurable in assessment and evaluation. Effective communication skills for health care providers have been identified in research and medical education literature. Communication skills training programs at various levels of provider education have been shown to be effective in teaching skills and skill uptake by participants.

There are several conceptual models that delineate health care providers' communication skills. Skills are generally considered to be generic or context-free, as they may be used in various types of health care consultations (e.g., pediatric well child visit, cancer treatment making discussion, ...

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