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Health Communication Research Measures


Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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11. Patient-Centered Communication


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11. Patient-Centered Communication

MELISSA B. WANZER,Canisius College& MELANIE BOOTH-BUTTERFIELD,West Virginia University

In the 21st century the concept of “patient-centered communication” is lauded, but constitutes a dilemma. Patients want interaction and at least some control over health care decisions, but they also definitely want to heal and feel better. Health care providers recognize that patients need more than direct physical care, and that providers should address the emotional and ­psycho-social aspects of the patient through communication as well. But there is far less agreement from either group about how patient-centered care should be accomplished, and how to balance communication interactions to achieve the most positive outcomes (Mahar, 2010).

The drive to embrace patient-centered care has spawned diverse and numerous efforts to inform and train providers; e.g., the Patient-centered Care Improvement Guide, generated by the Picker Institute (Frampton et al., 2008). Health practitioners are exhorted to communicate in a patient-centered manner. Unfortunately, there are many concerns with what constitutes optimal patient-centered communication, the tension between validated practice and patients’ wishes, the manner in which “patient-centered communication” is conceptualized, and subsequently how it can be validly measured (Epstein, et al., 2005).

Certainly patient-centered communication can be taught, but success necessitates both skill training and the motivation to orient and adapt to patient concerns (Levinson, Lesser, & Epstein, 2010). Further, caregivers’ behaviors do not assure patient satisfaction. That is, simply because they act in a specified manner...

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