Patients with disabilities and complex communication needs. The GP consultation

Aust Fam Physician. 2004 Aug;33(8):585-9.


Background: People with complex communication needs vary in terms of their underlying disability and the methods and strategies they use to communicate.

Objective: This article describes the varied communication profiles that a general practitioner is likely to encounter in patients with disabilities, and the various types of augmentative and alternative forms of communication that might be used in such consultations.

Discussion: This article provides strategies to facilitate doctor-patient communication involving patients with complex communication needs, some of which are illustrated in a case study of a young woman with an intellectual disability.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication Aids for Disabled
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking / methods
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Physician-Patient Relations*