Publication date

Communication in general practice.

Dulmen, S. van, Bensing, J. Communication in general practice. In: G.P. Westert; L. Jabaaij; F.G. Schellevis. Morbidity, performance and quality in primary care: Dutch general practice on stage. Oxon: Radcliffe Publishing, 2006. 170-176
In this chapter, we explore the essence of the general practitioner (GP)-patient encounter by
looking at what is actually being communicated in the consulting room. In terms of conversational
input of GP and patient, the average GP-patient encounter appears quite equal. A more detailed
analyses shows GPs taking the lead, by giving instructions and asking, questions more often, and
paying relatively little attention to psychosocial issues. Patients' age , ethnicity and educational
background influence the communication in the consulting room, in some respects favouring the
younger, higher educated and native Dutch patients. GPs are found frequenlty being able to meet
patients' preferences for support, information and advice. Compared to 1987, GPs give more
information and allow patients more room in the decision making process. The information exchange on
possible other treatments and risks needs improvement. (aut. ref.)