The patient's story: integrating the patient- and physician-centered approaches to interviewing

Ann Intern Med. 1991 Sep 15;115(6):470-7. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-115-6-470.


Patients produce biopsychosocial stories that integrate material from the medical and personal aspects of their lives. Capturing the personal aspect of the story requires that a patient-centered approach to clinical interviewing complement the equally important physician-centered approach. Patient-centered interviewing actively involves the patient and ensures that his or her perceptions, needs, and concerns are articulated during the physician-patient interaction. In our article, we define patient-centered interviewing and provide a rationale for using it. We also describe how patient-centered interviewing is done, how it is integrated with the physician-centered approach, and how to understand the product of this complementary approach to clinical interviewing, the patient's biopsychosocial story.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Medical History Taking / methods*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*