Improving Clinician and Patient Communication Skills

Authored by: Brianna R. Cusanno , Nivethitha Ketheeswaran , Carma L. Bylund

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367488956
eBook ISBN: 9781003043379
Adobe ISBN:


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Communication is at the center of clinician-patient interactions and healthcare practice. Although improved communication is associated with an array of benefits for clinicians and patients, clinical communication is not always optimal. Consequently, communication skills programs (CSPs) aiming to support skill development have been widely incorporated into clinical education. This chapter provides an overview of CSPs, including pedagogical methods, evaluation strategies, and challenges related to designing successful CSPs. We also compare the philosophical outlooks underlying different approaches to CSPs, including competency-based, humanistic, and cultural humility frameworks. We conclude with recommendations for future communication research on CSPs.

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