Revisiting patient communication training: an updated needs assessment and the AGENDA model

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Sep;88(3):399-405. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.06.026. Epub 2012 Jul 15.


Objective: To assess physician needs for patient-centered communication training for medical consultations and to develop an updated patient training curriculum.

Methods: An online needs assessment was distributed through physician email listserves at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Frequency tabulation and content analyses were conducted to assess patient communication themes.

Results: Responses were received from 336 physicians. Physicians reported that patients are reluctant to ask questions when they do not understand information related to their medical condition, treatment plan, or medical advice. Furthermore, physicians reported that a lack of patient negotiation inhibits patient-centered communication and may negatively influence patient adherence and compliance. Based on these results the AGENDA model was created for patient training and consists of (1) agenda setting; (2) goals for health; (3) expressing concerns, questions, and negotiations; (4) navigating health literacy issues; (5) disclosing detailed information; and (6) active types of listening.

Conclusion: This study supports revisiting patient communication training and tailoring future training interventions to specific communities.

Practice implications: The AGENDA model can be used to train patients to enhance patient-centered communication with physicians. Additionally, patient communication training could help to address the barriers to care identified by the physicians in our study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Patient Education as Topic* / trends
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires