The manner in which a physician communicates diagnostic uncertainty to a patient’s family has a significant impact on the family’s view of the physician, according to a recent AHRQ-funded study. Researchers surveyed approximately 70 parents, presenting each with a fictional scenario affecting their child. Several different communication strategies were tested. Parents reacted negatively when physicians stated their uncertainty explicitly, rather than employing a strategy of presenting differential diagnoses. An explicit communications strategy was associated with lower patient perception of physician competence, less trust and lower adherence to physician recommendations. Researchers recommended further development and study of evidence-based communications strategies. Access the abstract of the study, which was published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.
Int J Qual Health Care. 2018 Feb 1;30(1):2-8. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzx170.
Patient perspectives on how physicians communicate diagnostic uncertainty: An experimental vignette study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):
Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care 2018. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.