- Consultations with talkative patients present a challenge to doctors. It is difficult to gather all the necessary information within the available time, without damaging the doctor-patient relationship.
- Based on the listed existing literature and doctors’ experiences, we present ten tips for gathering information from talkative patients in an effective manner whilst maintaining a good therapeutic alliance.
- In consultations with talkative patients, it is important to explore the cause of patients’ talkativeness and to adapt one’s communication approach accordingly.
- Familiar communication strategies such as ‘summarizing’ can still be applied. When taking this route, a more directive communication approach – e.g. by means of a ‘closed-ended summary’ – can prevent the patient interrupting the doctor or departing from his subject.
- There are strategies aimed at avoiding a damaging effect to the doctor-patient relationship when applying this approach: don’t be overly directive, make the patient co-responsible for efficient time management in the consultation, and make use of empathic interrupting and humour.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.