A method for better physician-patient communication

Ann Intern Med. 1977 Apr;86(4):478-80. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-86-4-478.


Dismissal interviews were recorded between 48 patients and their physicians. Each patient took home a cassette containing this interview. About 3 months later, the patients received a questionnaire designed to assess the acceptability and usefulness of this method of communication. Most patients proved to have ready access to a cassette player. Their responses were highly favorable: 91% thought they were helped to understand the physician's discussion; 75% found it helpful to have their spouse or relatives listen to the tape; 62% preferred the recording to a letter; and 86% of the patients believed that the taped interview improved their health care. Many studies record the inadequacy of communication by physicians to their patients. This technique of recording dismissal interviews may make a contribution to improving such communication.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Minnesota
  • Physician-Patient Relations*