Exploring the Relational Aspects of Patient and Doctor Communication
Keywords:Patient and Doctor Communication
AbstractThe alliance concept is an essential component of therapeutic relationships. Contrary to empirical evidence, its relevance is often not acknowledged in medical encounters. This circumstance invites the question, ‘‘How can the doctor and patient connect relationally with each other to improve the communication process and promote healing?’’ We propose that healing can be accomplished through dialog that emphasizes the collaborative nature of the partnership between the doctor and patient. The typical conversation in a medical encounter may be reduced to an information exchange and a medium for prescribing directives. This being-with approach can override patients’ involvement in the process. A positive doctor–patient relationship may be one of the most important, and most frequently overlooked, factors for predicting patient response to negative medical information. Receiving such news is potentially upsetting for the patient and may require the doctor to let go of the conversational medical agenda and adopt a being-for mode of relationship. We propose that this approach invites the doctor and patient to work together and negotiate how to manage the chronic illness eliciting patient-preferred treatment options. The authors propose the adoption of the being-for relationship as a way of enhancing the therapeutic potential of the doctor–patient relationship.
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Creative Comons 4.0 CC-BY
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).