Can patient-provider interaction increase the effectiveness of medical treatment or even substitute it?

an exploration on why and how to study the specific effect of the provider

Melanie Neumann, Friedrich Edelhäuser, Gary L. Kreps, Christian Scheffer, Gabriele Lutz, Diethard Tauschel, Adriaan Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Numerous studies demonstrate the impact of high-quality patient-provider interaction (PPI) on health outcomes. However, transformation of these findings into clinical practice is still a crucial problem. One reason might be that health communication research rarely investigated whether PPI can increase the effectiveness of medical treatment and/or even substitute it. Therefore, our objective was to provide empirical and methodological background of why and how to investigate the specific effect of the provider on patients' health outcomes. Methods: This is a debate paper based on a narrative (non-systematic) literature review in Medline and PsycINFO without any year limitation. Results: Neurobiological evidence based on expectation and conditioning theory indicates that PPI is able to increase the effectiveness of medical treatment. Moreover, the use of creative RCT study designs described in this paper enables health communication researchers to investigate whether PPI is able to substitute medical treatment. Conclusion: This paper exemplifies that there exist an evidence-based knowledge from neurobiology as well as creative RCT designs which enable researcher to investigate the specific effects of PPI. Practice implications: Research on the specific effects of PPI requires intense reflection on which patient groups or types of illness are reasonable, suitable, and ethically justifiable for interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conditioning theory
  • Effectiveness
  • Expectation theory
  • Patient-provider interaction
  • Placebo
  • RCT

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