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Non-verbal clues guide doctor-patient relationships, clinical judgments, U-M study finds
Date:9/25/2011

sure of precisely how they arrived at an opinion.

"Our findings are consistent with research from the social sciences suggesting that doctors' and patients' judgments in the examining room are often complicated and take into account many subtle, unspoken clues," says senior author Michael Fetters, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., associate professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School. "In the future, we hope this method of recording and reviewing these types of interactions can inform interventions designed to improve medical decision making and doctor-patient interaction by providing a more complete understanding of the kind of signals upon which doctors and patients rely."

Methodology: The study used video elicitation, a method in which participants are interviewed about an event while watching and reflecting on a video-recording of that event. Doctors and patients were interviewed separately.

Data were collected from 72 video elicitation interviews involving 18 doctors and 36 patients (two per doctor). Doctor participants were recruited from six different practices across southeast Michigan. Subjects agreed to be recorded ahead of time and the video camera was placed in an unobtrusive area of the examination room.


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Contact: Ian Demsky
idemsky@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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