Assessing the effects of physician-patient interactions on the outcomes of chronic disease

Med Care. 1989 Mar;27(3 Suppl):S110-27. doi: 10.1097/00005650-198903001-00010.


Growing interest in the doctor-patient relationship focuses attention on the specific elements of that relationship that affect patients' health outcomes. Data are presented for four clinical trials conducted in varied practice settings among chronically ill patients differing markedly in sociodemographic characteristics. These trials demonstrated that "better health" measured physiologically (blood pressure or blood sugar), behaviorally (functional status), or more subjectively (evaluations of overall health status) was consistently related to specific aspects of physician-patient communication. We conclude that the physician-patient relationship may be an important influence on patients' health outcomes and must be taken into account in light of current changes in the health care delivery system that may place this relationship at risk.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease* / psychology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Communication*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Random Allocation
  • Tape Recording