Doctors and patients: flying apart?

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 20 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:0

“Patient centred care” sounds like irritating jargon to many doctors. Hasn't their care always been patient centred? A group from Southampton has analysed almost a thousand meetings between doctors and patients to find out what patient centredness is and whether it matters (p 908). Their conclusion is that if doctors don't provide a positive, patient centred approach, then patients are less satisfied, feel worse, and are more likely to be referred to other doctors.

What then is patient centredness? The first component is that the doctor is sympathetic, interested in the patient's worries and …

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