There is a lack of correlation between physician scores and those of others for physician-patient communication, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Jenni Burt, Ph.D., from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed survey data from patients attending face-to-face appointments with 45 family physicians at 13 practices. Patients and physicians independently completed a questionnaire including seven items assessing communication quality immediately post-appointment. Using the same seven communication items, a sample of videotaped appointments was assessed by trained clinical raters. Data were included for 503 physician-patient pairs; 55 appointments were assessed by trained clinician raters.
“Physicians may not be aware of how patients experience their communication practices; peer assessment of communication skills is an important approach in identifying areas for improvement,” the authors write.