Can patient-provider interaction increase the effectiveness of medical treatment or even substitute it? An exploration on why and how to study the specific effect of the provider

Author: Neumann, M.; Edelhauser, F.; Kreps, G.L.; Scheffer, C.; Lutz, G.; Tauschel, D.; Visser, A.

Description: OBJECTIVE: Numerous studies demonstrate the impact of high-quality patient-provider interaction (PPI) on health outcomes. However, transformation of these findings into clinical practice is still a crucial problem. One reason might be that health communication research rarely investigated whether PPI can increase the effectiveness of medical treatment and/or even substitute it. Therefore, our objective was to provide empirical and methodological background of why and how to investigate the specific effect of the provider on patients’ health outcomes.

METHODS: This is a debate paper based on a narrative (non-systematic) literature review in Medline and PsycINFO without any year limitation.

RESULTS: Neurobiological evidence based on expectation and conditioning theory indicates that PPI is able to increase the effectiveness of medical treatment. Moreover, the use of creative RCT study designs described in this paper enables health communication researchers to investigate whether PPI is able to substitute medical treatment.

CONCLUSION: This paper exemplifies that there exist an evidence-based knowledge from neurobiology as well as creative RCT designs which enable researcher to investigate the specific effects of PPI.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Research on the specific effects of PPI requires intense reflection on which patient groups or types of illness are reasonable, suitable, and ethically justifiable for interventions.

Subject headings: Communication; Conditioning (Psychology); Evidence-Based Practice; Humans; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Physician-Patient Relations; Placebo Effect; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Publication year: 2010

Journal or book title: Patient Education and Counseling

Volume: 80

Issue: 3

Pages: 307-314

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 401