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Health promoting effects of the physician-patient encounter.

Dulmen, A.M. van, Bensing, J.M. Health promoting effects of the physician-patient encounter. Psychology, Health & Medicine: 2002, 7(3), 289-299
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The efficacy of a medical treatment partly depends on the interpersonal context in which an intervention takes place. By identifying what factors in the medical encounter engender effect beyond that of the therapeutic intervention, treatment outcome is likely to increase. This study gives an overview of the most important literature examining the relationship between physiological outcome measures and factors pertaining to the medical health care visit. Research findings suggest that the stressfulness of the medical encounter impacts on a patient's health negatively. Yet, this negative experience can be transformed into a positive one when physicians use empathic and patient-centred communication styles and assist patients in altering incorrect ideas about their complaints. (aut. ref.)