Family Physician Communication, Quality of Care and the use of Computer in the Consultation - The Patient's Perspective

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We evaluated the perceived impact of computer use on family physicians communication skills, empathy and quality of care. The study surveyed 106 family physicians and 392 patients. They were questioned regarding the utilization and impact of computer use in the consultation and its association with communication skills, physician's empathy (Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy - JSPE) and quality of care (QUOTE-COMM questionnaire). Physicians reported spending a considerable amount of time interacting with the computer during the consultation (42.4%±16.4 of the total length). They perceive the impact of computer use as negative, while patients have a general positive perception of computer use on patient-physician communication. According to the patients the ability to be more compassionate and understand patient's perspective was not associated with the use of computer, but quality of care was negatively associated with time spent interacting with the computer. Interacting with the computer consumes a significant amount of clinicians' time during consultations and may represent a challenge to their communication ability and particularly to empathic attitudes. Patient's perspectives regarding the use of the computer in the consultation, computer use skills and related quality of care are valuable, and will contribute to shape future educational interventions.




Sobral, D., & Figueiredo-Braga, M. (2016). Family Physician Communication, Quality of Care and the use of Computer in the Consultation - The Patient’s Perspective. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 100, pp. 594–601). Elsevier B.V.

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