How to conduct international research on clinical communication

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Arnstein Finset


Communication is an important aspect of person-centered medicine. We need research-based knowledge on the associations between communication behavior and the core values and desired outcomes of person-centered medicine.We know that medical encounters may differ greatly in different countries and cultures. Most studies are conducted in North America, Europe and Australia and there is a need to develop international studies which also include countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It cannot be taken for granted that findings from one country are representative of or applicable in another. In building the evidence base for person-centered medicine, multinational collaborative studies should therefore be encouraged.A good example of international collaboration in clinical communication research is the establishment of international researcher networks, such as the Verona Network for Sequence Analysis, based on the Verona experience and six criteria of successful network building are presented: (1) a core group of researchers and a home venue for network gatherings; (2) regularity of collaborative activities; (3) a clear aim for the network activities; (4) a modest set of ambitions to begin with; (5) a long term perspective and the realistic step-by-step progression of research activities & (6) inclusion of both senior and junior researchers in joint collaborative efforts.Future networks should include different countries, including African and Asian countries, with the explicit aim of comparing communication practices in different cultures.

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Conducting Research on Clinical Communication


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