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Context factors in general practitioner - patient encounters and their impact on assessing communication skills - an exploratory study

Essers, Geurt; Kramer, Anneke; Andriesse, Boukje; van Weel, Chris; van der Vleuten, Cees; van Dulmen, Sandra

Description

BACKGROUND Assessment of medical communication performance usually focuses on rating generically applicable, well-defined communication skills. However, in daily practice, communication is determined by (specific) context factors, such as acquaintance with the patient, or the presented problem. Merely valuing the presence of generic skills may not do justice to the doctor's proficiency.Our aim was to perform an exploratory study on how assessment of general practitioner (GP) communication...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorEssers, Geurt
dc.contributor.authorKramer, Anneke
dc.contributor.authorAndriesse, Boukje
dc.contributor.authorvan Weel, Chris
dc.contributor.authorvan der Vleuten, Cees
dc.contributor.authorvan Dulmen, Sandra
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-25T01:01:10Z
dc.date.available2016-01-25T01:01:10Z
dc.identifier.issn1471-2296
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/95646
dc.description.abstractBACKGROUND Assessment of medical communication performance usually focuses on rating generically applicable, well-defined communication skills. However, in daily practice, communication is determined by (specific) context factors, such as acquaintance with the patient, or the presented problem. Merely valuing the presence of generic skills may not do justice to the doctor's proficiency.Our aim was to perform an exploratory study on how assessment of general practitioner (GP) communication performance changes if context factors are explicitly taken into account. METHODS We used a mixed method design to explore how ratings would change. A random sample of 40 everyday GP consultations was used to see if previously identified context factors could be observed again. The sample was rated twice using a widely used assessment instrument (the MAAS-Global), first in the standard way and secondly after context factors were explicitly taken into account, by using a context-specific rating protocol to assess communication performance in the workplace. In between first and second rating, the presence of context factors was established. Item score differences were calculated using paired sample t-tests. RESULTS In 38 out of 40 consultations, context factors prompted application of the context-specific rating protocol. Mean overall score on the 7-point MAAS-Global scale increased from 2.98 in standard to 3.66 in the context-specific rating (p<0.00); the effect size for the total mean score was 0.84. In earlier research the minimum standard score for adequate communication was set at 3.17. CONCLUSIONS Applying the protocol, the mean overall score rose above the level set in an earlier study for the MAAS-Global scores to represent 'adequate GP communication behaviour'. Our findings indicate that incorporating context factors in communication assessment thus makes a meaningful difference and shows that context factors should be considered as 'signal' instead of 'noise' in GP communication assessment. Explicating context factors leads to a more deliberate and transparent rating of GP communication performance.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe study was funded by the SBOH Foundation, employer of Dutch Family Medicine Residents and funder of the national residency program for GPs in the Netherlands.
dc.publisherBioMed Central
dc.rights© Essers et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013 This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​2.​0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.sourceBMC Family Practice
dc.subjectadult
dc.subjectclinical competence
dc.subjectfactor analysis, statistical
dc.subjectfemale
dc.subjectgeneral practice
dc.subjecthumans
dc.subjectmale
dc.subjectmiddle aged
dc.subjectprofessional practice
dc.subjectqualitative research
dc.subjectreferral and consultation
dc.subjectreproducibility of results
dc.subjectcommunication
dc.subjectgeneral practitioners
dc.subjectphysician-patient relations
dc.titleContext factors in general practitioner - patient encounters and their impact on assessing communication skills - an exploratory study
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume14
dc.date.issued2013-05-22
local.identifier.absfor111717
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB4124
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.biomedcentral.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationEssers, Geurt, Radboud University, Netherlands
local.contributor.affiliationKramer, Anneke, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
local.contributor.affiliationAndriesse, Boukje, Bureau BRIES, Netherlands
local.contributor.affiliationVan Weel, Chris, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, CMBE Research School of Population Health, Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationvan der Vleuten, C. P. M., Maastricht University, Netherlands
local.contributor.affiliationvan Dulmen, Sandra, Buskerud University College, Norway
local.identifier.essn1471-2296
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage65
local.identifier.doi10.1186/1471-2296-14-65
local.identifier.absseo920299
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:21:38Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84878007540
local.identifier.thomsonID000320670100001
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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