From the Editors’ Desk: Why Does Not Improvement in Communication Lead to Improvement in “Hard” Outcomes?
The quality of communication is important in provider-patient interactions. Studies have consistently shown that encounters that are more interactive result in patients with higher levels of satisfaction and trust.1 What has been more difficult to achieve is translating improvement in communication to other outcomes, such as improved hypertension or diabetes control. Most studies of communication interventions that have looked for effects beyond improvement in satisfaction have found no benefit.1, 2, 3 This is surprising since improvement in communication can lead to improved adherence to treatment regimens4, 5, 6 and adherence has been shown to be critical to improvement in some outcomes, such as blood pressure control.7
I once attended a “Meet the Professor” session at the annual Society of General Internal Medicine with Shelly Greenfield. The room was full of young researchers, all eager to push the field of patient-provider communication forward and looking forward to his guidance....
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Conflict of Interest
The author declares that he does not have a conflict of interest.
- 7.Kronish IM, Moise N, McGinn T, Quan Y, Chaplin W, Gallagher BD, Davidson KW. An Electronic Adherence Measurement Intervention to Reduce Clinical Inertia in the Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension: The MATCH Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2016;31(11):1294–1300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Vo MT, Uratsu CS, Estacio KR, Altschuler A, Kim E, Alexeeff SE, Adams AS, Schmittdiel JA, Heisler M, Grant RW. Prompting Patients with Poorly Controlled Diabetes to Identify Visit Priorities Before Primary Care Visits: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Trial. J Gen Intern Med. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-018-4756-4