Consultvoering bij breedsprakige patiënten: 10 tips

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Esther Giroldi, Wemke Veldhuijzen, Frits Bareman, Herman Bueving, Trudy van der Weijden, Cees van der Vleuten en Jean Muris

Effective communication with talkative patients: 10 tips

  • 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.