Publication date

Physician-patient communication in single-bedded versus four-bedded hospital rooms.

Glind, I. van de, Dulmen, S. van, Goossensen, A. Physician-patient communication in single-bedded versus four-bedded hospital rooms. Patient Education and Counseling: 2008, 73(2), p. 215-219.
Download the PDF
Objective: To examine whether physician-patient communication in multi-bedded rooms differs from communication in single rooms during ward rounds. Methods: Ward rounds in single bedded patient rooms and ward rounds in four bedded rooms were audiotaped and analyzed with an adapted version of MIARS. The researcher completed an observational checklist of each encounter. We measured: the duration of speech time, the types of verbal and nonverbal communication, the extent to which patients and physicians raise intimate subjects. Results: Encounters during ward rounds in single rooms significantly took up more time than encounters in four-bedded rooms. The patients asked more questions and made more remarks in single rooms compared to four-bedded rooms. Empathic reactions of the physician were scored significantly more often in single rooms than in four-bedded rooms. No differences were observed concerning the extent to which intimate subjects were brought up. Conclusion: This study is the first that investigated this subject. Findings suggest that single rooms contribute positively to physician-patient communication. Practice Implications: The research findings indicate the relevance of taking account of the context in which physician-patient communication takes place.(aut. ref.)