Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Communication Skills

  • Yori GidronEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1372-2



Communication skills are an essential medium through which physicians interact with patients, in order to diagnose and treat patients. According to Ong et al. (1995), doctor-patient communication has three main roles: (1) to create a positive interpersonal relationship, (2) exchange information, and (3) make treatment-related decisions. A positive interpersonal relationship includes facilitation of trust between the patient and a health professional that enables honest bidirectional expression of concerns and report of behaviors (e.g., risky behaviors, nonadherence). Exchange of information is the basis of the doctor-patient interaction, where information from patient to doctor enables the latter to arrive at more accurate diagnoses and to decide about more suitable and effective treatments. Similarly, adequate exchange of information from physician to patient enables the doctor to inform the patient about risks of unhealthy behaviors...

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References and Further Readings

  1. Beck, R. S., Daughtridge, R., & Sloane, P. D. (2002). Physician-patient communication in the primary care office: A systematic review. Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 15, 25–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Di Blasi, Z., Harkness, E., Ernst, E., Georgiou, A., & Kleijnen, J. (2001). Influence of context effects on health outcomes: A systematic review. Lancet, 357, 757–762.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Inui, T. S., Yourtee, E. L., & Williamson, J. W. (1976). Improved outcomes in hypertension after physician tutorials. A controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 84, 646–651.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ong, L. M., de Haes, J. C., Hoos, A. M., & Lammes, F. B. (1995). Doctor-patient communication: A review of the literature. Social Science & Medicine, 40, 903–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. van den Brink-Muinen, A., van Dulmen, S. M., de Haes, H. C., Visser, A. P., Schellevis, F. G., & Bensing, J. M. (2006). Has patients’ involvement in the decision-making process changed over time? Health Expectations, 9, 333–342.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine and PharmacyFree University of Brussels (VUB)JetteBelgium