Homepage " Publications " Publications abroad " Communication in general practice: differences between European countries

Communication in general practice: differences between European countries

18 December 2022

The aim of this article was (i) to compare doctor-patient communication in general practice in European countries; and (ii) to investigate the impact of system, GP and patient characteristics on doctor-patient communication in general practice. Data were collected using patient and GP questionnaires and observations of video-recorded consultations, and analysed using univariate and multivariate multivariate analysis. Cross-country differences in communication were found in: affective and instrumental behaviour; biomedical and psychosocial conversation; GP-directed gaze; and length of consultation. The study found that the role of the GP (for registered patients) was less important in doctor-patient communication than expected. Patient characteristics such as gender, age, having psychosocial problems and the intimacy between doctor and patient were most important in explaining differences in communication. The role of the GP is not important in explaining doctor-patient communication. The relationship is more complex than expected. The characteristics of the patient and the GP are more important. Cultural factors should be taken into account in future research.