01:22pm Friday 10 July 2020

Study explores patient-doctor relationship

Dr Michael Lane, from the School of Psychology, says the purpose of this research is to identify and understand which behaviours help doctors to establish partnerships which motivate health-behaviour change.

This research will identify a library of interactions which can be used to identify the behaviour important to the formation of these partnerships.

Dr Lane is recruiting 20 patients from the Manawatū to complete an interview about positive experiences with their GP. Anybody over the age of 18 can participate.

“Positive relationships involve partnerships and empathy, and developing these relationships in a 15 minute consultation requires incredible skill,” Dr Lane says. “This study will get the perspective of the patient, and ask the important question of how do doctors form these sensitive partnerships?”

Traditionally the doctor-patient relationship was paternal, and emotionally detached in nature, but this has changed over time.

“Today patients increasingly expect partnerships with their doctors. Research has shown positive outcomes, for both doctors and patients, from these more empathetic partnerships.

“In addition to enhancing information provision and adherence to medication, partnerships enhance patient motivation to make positive changes to diet and exercise.”

Dr Lane says research in this area will help doctors match their communication to the values and motivation level of patients. For more information or to participate in the study please contact Dr Lane.

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