Publicatie

Publication date

Persuasive communication in medical decision-making during consultations with patients with limited health literacy in hospital-based palliative care.

Geurts, E.M.A., Pittens, C.A.C.M., Boland, G., Dulmen, S. van, Noordman, J. Persuasive communication in medical decision-making during consultations with patients with limited health literacy in hospital-based palliative care. Patient Education and Counseling: 2021
Download the PDF
Objective
Both patients in the palliative phase of their disease and patients with limited health literacy (LHL) have an increased risk of being influenced by healthcare providers (HCPs) when making decisions. This study aims to explore to what extent persuasive communication occurs during shared decision-making (SDM) by (1) providing an overview of persuasive communication behaviours relevant for medical decision-making and (2) exemplifying these using real-life outpatient consultations.

Methods
An exploratory qualitative design was applied: (1) brief literature review; (2) analysis of verbatim extracts from outpatient consultations and stimulated recall sessions with HCPs; and (3) stakeholder meetings.

Results
24 different persuasive communication behaviours were identified, which can be divided in seven categories: biased presentation of information, authoritative framing, probability framing, illusion of decisional control, normative framing, making assumptions and using emotions or feelings.

Conclusions
Persuasive communication is multi-faceted in outpatient consultations. Although undesirable, it may prove useful in specific situations making it necessary to study the phenomenon more in depth and deepen our understanding of its mechanisms and impact.

Practice implications
Awareness among HCPs about the use of persuasive communication needs to be created through training and education. Also, HCPs need help in providing balanced information.