Commentary (Bishop/Wingard)-Patient-Physician Communication in Oncology: What Does the Evidence Show?
January 01, 2006
As noted by Back, the primarygoals of effective patient-physician communicationare to enhance patient understandingof the illness, to improvedecision-making, and to facilitate patientadjustment. These three goalsare sensible and important concernsof the communication dyad. A numberof studies have examined variousaspects of the communication processand the factors that influence communicationoutcomes, and a few evenhave tested interventions to improvephysician communication skills. However,there remains a dearth of studiesthat examine communication effectson the three major goals articulatedabove and that evaluate the effectivenessof communication skill interventionsin influencing patient outcomes.