Negative Effects Of Effective Communication

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Although, the literal meaning of communication is the “imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium” (Oxford Dictionary, 2014), in practical terms, communication itself may well encompass the exchange of meaningful ideas, information, thought processes and knowledge between two or more people involving speech, signals, writing or behaviour patterns in order to achieve certain pre-determined goals. This e word originated from the Latin Commūnicāre (to Share) and entered Middle English through French (communicacion). It is not a unidirectional process, and more importantly, the exchange of knowledge or information is not a passive process by any means. It is a complex process, and is not confined to…show more content…
This has a beneficial effect for both doctors, as well as patients (Gomez & Aillach, 2013). By using effective communication, doctors identify their patients’ problems holistically and as a result, patients experience psychological wellbeing (Lerman et al., 1993)., Patients are more satisfied with their care and adhere to management plans (Razavi et al., 2000) as they are more aware of investigations, treatment options and understanding of the problem (Maguire et al., 1996, Stiefel et al., 2010). Poor communication, on the other hand, can give rise to distress and dissatisfaction to both family and patients (Ahern et al., 2012, Curtis et al., 2005). Around 33% of the complaints in NHS Scotland are directly or indirectly related to communication issues (ISD, 2012) and the situation is not markedly different in NHS England (HSCIC, 2013). The GMC makes it clear, that registered doctors should keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date and skills of communication are no exception (GMC, 2013a). Annual appraisals for senior doctors and yearly progress reports of trainee doctors, ensure that satisfactory progress is made in this important area (Lefevre et al., 2000) and this information is used in the five yearly revalidation process for all doctors (GMC,…show more content…
Booth and colleagues (1996) in a prospective study, showed that even if physicians do possess the necessary skills to deliver some degree of effective communication, they are reluctant to explore wider topics like the psychological and social impact of the disease process on patients as individuals. On similar lines, Cutica and colleagues (2014) showed that doctors tend not to pay much attention to the psycho-social aspect of the disease process and they tend not to explore patients’ views about their symptoms effectively. Maguire and Pitceathly (2002) further identified causes of poor communication and termed them as “blocking strategies”. The most common barrier to effective communication, among physicians was the fear to cause distress to the patients. It was noticed that, to avoid distress to the patients, the physician often changed the topic or over reassured patients and used vague language in relation to difficult communication like breaking bad news. One of the reasons, for this behaviour might be lack of understanding among supervising physicians when it comes to cultural aspects of communication skills as shown by an Australian study (Berger et al., 2014). In this area, sStudies in this area are mainly observational, and are only pointing at weak

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