interpersonal sensitivity; patient-centered communication; verbal and nonverbal behavior; health communication
Berney Alexandre, Carrard Valérie, Schmid Mast Marianne, Bonvin Raphael, Stiefel Friedrich, Bourquin Céline (2017), Individual training at the undergraduate level to promote competence in breaking bad news in oncology, in Psycho-Oncology
, 26(12), 2232-2237.
Carrard Valérie, Schmid Mast Marianne, Jaunin-Stalder Nicole, Junod Perron Noëlle, Sommer Johanna (2017), Patient-Centeredness as Physician Behavioral Adaptability to Patient Preferences, in Health Communication
, 33(5), 593-600.
Carrard Valérie, Schmid Mast Marianne, Cousin Gaëtan (2016), Beyond “One Size Fits All”: Physician Nonverbal Adaptability to Patients’ Need for Paternalism and Its Positive Consultation Outcomes, in Health Communication
, 31(11), 1327-1333.
Carrard Valérie, Schmid Mast Marianne (2015), Physician behavioral adaptability: A model to outstrip a “one size fits all” approach, in Patient Education and Counseling
, 98(10), 1243-1247.
Cousin Gaëtan, Schmid Mast Marianne (2015), Trait-agreeableness influences individual reactions to a physician’s affiliative behavior in a simulated bad news delivery, in Health Communication
, 31(3), 320-327.
Bourquin Céline, Stiefel Friedrich, Mast Marianne Schmid, Bonvin Raphael, Berney Alexandre (2015), Well, you have hepatic metastases: Use of technical language by medical students in simulated patient interviews, in Patient Education and Counseling
, 98(3), 323-330.
Carrard Valérie, Schmid Mast Marianne (2015), Gender in patient-physician interactions, in Faniko Klea, Lorenzi-Cioldi O., Mayor Eric (ed.), Routledge, London, 58-71.
Klöckner Cronauer Christina, Schmid Mast Marianne (2014), Hostile Sexist Male Patients and Female Doctors: A Challenging Encounter, in The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
, 7(1), 37-45.
Klöckner Cronauer C. & Schmid Mast M. (2014), Hostile sexist male patients and female doctors – A challenging encounter, in The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research.
, 7, 37-45.
Cousin Gaetan, Schmid Mast Marianne (2014), Nonverbal communication in health settings, in Golson J.G., Thompson T.L. (ed.), Sage, Thousand Oaks, 946-950.
Carrard V. Schmid Mast M. & Cousin G., Beyond “one size fits all”: Physician nonverbal adaptability to each patient’s need for paternalism is related to positive consultation outcomes, in Health Communication
, advance online publication.
Carrard Valérie, Schmid Mast, Hall Judith, Gender, power, and nonverbal communication, in Kissane D., Butow P., Bultz B. (ed.), Oxford University Press, New York.
Cousin G. & Schmid Mast M., Trait-agreeableness influences individual reactions to a physician's affiliative behavior in a simulated bad news delivery health communication, in Health Communication
There is widespread consensus about the fact that a patient-centered physician communication style is beneficial for the patient as well as for the doctor. In order to be patient-centered, the physician communication needs to be flexible or adaptive to the characteristics, needs, and preferences of the patient. For this, the physician needs to be able to sense and infer those characteristics, needs, and preferences from the patient. This physician skill is call interpersonal sensitivity, defined as the ability to correctly infer the patient’s states (e.g., emotions) and traits (e.g., personality characteristics). There is initial evidence from the literature that physician interpersonal sensitivity is related to positive consultation outcomes. However, what we do not know is through which verbal and nonverbal physician behavior a doctor’s interpersonal sensitivity translates into positive patient outcomes. We believe that the interpersonally sensitive physician adapts his or her interaction style to the patients’ need and preferences and that this is what explains the positive patient outcomes. In other words, for an optimal outcome, the doctor first needs to be able to correctly assess a patient’s characteristics, needs, and preferences; he or she needs to be skilled in interpersonal sensitivity. Second, the doctor needs to be able and willing to adapt his or her verbal and nonverbal communication behavior according to the identified patient characteristics, needs, and preferences. As an example, the interpersonally sensitive doctor will correctly assess that a patient is angry after receiving bad news whereas another patient is sad. Based on these assessments, the physician will show accommodating behavior towards the first patient and encouraging behavior towards the second patient. The extent to which the physician behavior varies among different patients is what we call behavioral variability.The goal of the present research is to assess the physician’s individual level of interpersonal sensitivity, to investigate with which physician nonverbal cues it is associated and whether these associations differ depending on the patient’s needs, and how interpersonal sensitivity and physician behavioral variability relate to patient outcomes. We hypothesize that the more interpersonally sensitive a physician is, the more positive the patient outcomes are. We further hypothesize that more interpersonally sensitive physicians show more variability in their verbal and nonverbal behavior among different patients. Also, we predict that interpersonally sensitive physicians have patients who report better consultation outcomes because physicians show adaptivity in their behavior. In order to test these assumptions, physicians’ interpersonal sensitivity will be assessed and they then will be videotaped while consulting with 4 of their patients (2 women and 2 men). The verbal and nonverbal behavior emitted by the physician during each consultation will be coded. Patients report the consultation outcomes after the consultation (e.g., satisfaction, trust in the physicians, intention to adhere to the treatment recommendation, recall of treatment recommendations). When physician communication is tailored to patients’ needs and expectations, patients are satisfied and satisfied patients benefit from better health outcomes. Our results will inform to what extent physician training should emphasize the acquisition of different communication styles and the improvement of physician interpersonal sensitivity.