Health and Aging

Featured Health Topic: Doctor-Patient Communication

Photo of a doctor talking to a patientGood communication is an important part of the healing process. When a doctor and patient work as a team, they are more likely to achieve better health outcomes. As a patient, this means asking questions if explanations or instructions are unclear, bringing up problems even if the doctor or nurse doesn’t ask, and letting the doctor know if you have concerns about a particular treatment or change in your daily life. As a healthcare professional, learning effective communication techniques—and using them—may help you build more satisfying relationships with older patients and become even more skilled at managing their care.

The National Institute on Aging at NIH has resources that focus on the importance of good doctor-patient communication and provide tips for improving conversation and care.

Featured Research

Researchers reviewing test results on a computer screenThe University of Maryland and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute recently released a report, “Integrating Patients’ Voices in Study Design Elements,” focusing  on ways to more successfully engage underserved individuals in clinical trials and other research.  A central theme?  Good communication.  The report’s “10 Solid Suggestions: How to Elicit Hard-to-Reach Patients’ Perspectives and Partner with Patient Communities” include keeping people  up-to-date on what is going on with the research; educating patients about  exactly what is meant by the term “research” as well as the purpose of research; and making a lay summary of study findings available to study volunteers.

More Research on Doctor-Patient Communication