ORIGINAL PAPER
Physician-patient agreement on physicians’ communication skills and visit satisfaction in dermatology clinics: a one-with-many design
 
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SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2021-06-14
Final revision date: 2021-09-16
Acceptance date: 2021-09-17
Online publication date: 2021-11-10
Publication date: 2021-11-10
 
Health Psychology Report 2022;10(1):68–81
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
There is limited research on physician–patient communication skills that covers both sides of the relationship. The aim of this study was to explore two indicators of effective physician-patient communication: the agreement of physicians’ and patients’ perspectives of physicians’ communication skills in outpatient visits to dermatology clinics and the relationship of these perceptions of the consultation with their visit satisfaction.

Material and methods:
Dermatologists (n = 8) and their patients (n = 122) completed post-consultation dyadic measures of the content (what the physician communicates) and process (how the physician communicates) of the communication and satisfaction with a single office visit. Multilevel modelling was used to investigate the patient and doctor variance components at both the dyad and the doctor levels.

Results:
The patients rated the communication content skills higher than the physicians did; however, the doctors rated themselves as better skilled at the process of communication. There was disagreement between the physicians’ and the patients’ ratings of the both physicians’ content and process skills. In contrast, there was a high level of consensus amongst patients of the same doctor about the content and process of the doctor’s communication skills, while the physicians did not perceive themselves as consistent in communication between one patient and another. However, both the physicians and the patients who reported uniquely the highest physicians’ communication skills had higher visit satisfaction. Moreover, the patients who perceived their physicians as having good communication process skills on average had higher visit satisfaction.

Conclusions:
Although the perspectives of the same visit differed, self-rated behaviour affected satisfaction with visit.

 
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