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Original Contribution  |   February 2002
Physician-patient interaction: what do elders want?
Article Information
Geriatric Medicine / Professional Issues
Original Contribution   |   February 2002
Physician-patient interaction: what do elders want?
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2002, Vol. 102, 73-78. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2002.102.2.73
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2002, Vol. 102, 73-78. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2002.102.2.73
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify communication styles and physician characteristics that correlate with improved patient adherence and satisfaction during geriatric healthcare interactions. A multiphase study design, incorporating the use of focus groups, socialization hours, educational seminars, and survey questionnaires, was used to discover the most effective methods for improving communication between physicians and their geriatric patients. Elders favored direct, interactive verbal communication over alternative communication styles such as role-playing activities or the use of visual aids. Chi-square analyses showed that men desired more time with medical providers than women, who instead expressed a preference for more thorough explanations of disease processes. Further, men--and African American men in particular--sought medical advice from trusted friends more frequently than did women, who often preferred to solicit medical advice from family members. The most significant barriers affecting physician-patient interaction were created by patients' inflated expectations for consultation time and by physicians' ineffective presentation styles. This study also reveals that physicians' characteristics and patients' gender and race also impacted the success of medical encounters.