Best Evidence Teaching of Person-centred Basic Communication Skills: a reflection

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E.M. van Weel-Baumgarten
M.H. Brouwers


Adequate person-centred communication is an important cornerstone of good clinical practice and therefore requires training, just like other aspects of medicine do. The exact content of person-centeredness can vary depending on specific context and culture, but key issues mentioned frequently are: providing room for the patient’s story through involvement in consultations, with an emphasis on dialogue with the physician, exploring emotional cues and showing empathy, attention to the patient’s context, adjusting information and advice to that context and framing it in a positive way and involving patients in decisions on the management of illness. In practice, however, the concept of person-centeredness some-times works out differently from the one ‘on paper’.During the Third Geneva Conference on Person-Centered Medicine, a case history was used for discussion with the audience about patient centeredness. The focus was gradually shifted from the content of person-centeredness to the principles of teaching/training of communication skills. The participants contributed their opinions and these were supplemented with the available evidence from the literature leading to the reflection in this article.

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Third Geneva Conference on Person-Centered Medicine: Person-centered Basic Communication Skills