Objective: To conduct a systematic literature review appraising the effects of interventions to improve patient-practitioner communication on cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes.
Methods: Databases were searched up to March 27, 2013 to identify eligible studies that included interventions to improve patient and/or practitioner communication skills and assessment of a cardiovascular-related clinical outcome in adults ≥18 years of age.
Results: Fifteen papers were reviewed: the primary focus in seven studies was the patient; seven included a practitioner-focused intervention and one targeted both. Two patient-focused and two practitioner-focused studies demonstrated a beneficial effect of the intervention compared to a control group. Patient-focused studies were designed to improve patients' information-seeking and question-asking skills with their practitioner. Practitioner-focused studies were designed to either improve practitioner's general patient-centered communication or risk communication skills.
Conclusion: Few interventions targeting patient-practitioner communication have assessed the impact on cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes, limiting the ability to determine effectiveness. Additional rigorous research supported by theoretical frameworks and validated measurement is needed to understand the potential of patient-practitioner communication to improve cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes.
Practice implications: Investments in communication skills trainings in medical education and practice are needed in order to attain the full potential of patient-centered care on cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes.
Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases; Patient–practitioner communication; Systematic review.
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