Improved health outcomes in integrative medicine visits may reflect differences in physician and patient behaviors compared to standard medical visits

Michelle L. Dossett, Judith A. Hall, Ted J. Kaptchuk, Gloria Y. Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To identify differences in patient-physician interactions associated with improvements in GERD symptoms in a randomized controlled trial comparing integrative medicine and primary care/standard visits. Methods: We analyzed video recordings of 2-minute excerpts (thin slices) from the beginning, middle, and end of 21 study visits (11 standard, 10 integrative medicine). Results: According to blind coders’ analysis of the excerpts, prospective improvement in GERD symptoms was most highly correlated with patients appearing pleased (r = 0.71, p < 0.01) and friendly (r = 0.67, p < 0.01) at the end of the visit, controlling for visit type. The combination of patient and physician smiling at the end of the visit was associated with improvement in GERD symptoms (r2 = 0.45, p = 0.004). The physician in the integrative visits was more engaged (p = 0.009), friendly (p = 0.005), relaxed (p = 0.002), smiled longer (p = 0.006), gazed longer (p = 0.02), and gestured more (p = 0.007), compared to standard visits. Patients in integrative visits also smiled longer (p = 0.004). Conclusion: The expanded history-taking questions asked by integrative clinicians may enhance relationship building, modifying patients’ responses and improving patient-centered behaviors from clinicians,ultimately facilitating symptom improvement. Practice Implications: Analysis of nonverbal behaviors may facilitate a better understanding of patient-clinician interactions in integrative medicine visits and yield insights to improve clinical interactions in conventional medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Integrative medicine
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Patient-Centered care
  • Physician-patient relations
  • Video recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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