The clinician-patient partnership paradigm: outcomes associated with physician communication behavior

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2008 Jan;47(1):49-57. doi: 10.1177/0009922807305650. Epub 2007 Sep 27.


Objective: To identify physician communication behaviors associated with perceptions of quality of care and predictive of positive patient outcomes.

Patients and methods: A total of 452 families seeing 48 pediatricians for a child's asthma participated. Perceptions and health care use were assessed at baseline and after 12 months through interviews and medical records. The measures used were 10 physician communication behaviors and 6 items describing physician's performance, asthma office visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalization.

Results: Positive perceptions of physicians' performance were related to (P < or = .05) careful listening, inquiring about at-home management, nonverbal attention, interactive conversation, tailoring short-term goals, and long-term therapeutic plan. Loss in health care use was predicted (P < or = .05) by interactive conversation, short-term goals, criteria for decision making, long-term treatment plan, and tailoring according to needs. The use of these techniques did not lengthen the patient visit. A clinician-patient partnership paradigm is provided based on these findings.

Conclusions: The specific clinician communication behaviors predicted reduced health care use and positive perceptions of quality of care.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Health Care*