Randomised controlled trial of a brief intervention targeting predominantly non-verbal communication in general practice consultations

Paul Little, Peter White, Joanne Kelly, Hazel Everitt, Stewart Mercer

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lt;bgt;Backgroundlt;/bgt; The impact of changing non-verbal consultation behaviours is unknown. lt;pgt;lt;/pgt; lt;bgt;Aim lt;/bgt;To assess brief physician training on improving predominantly non-verbal communication.lt;pgt;lt;/pgt; lt;bgt;Design and setting lt;/bgt;Cluster randomised parallel group trial among adults aged 8805;16 years attending general practices close to the study coordinating centres in Southampton.lt;pgt;lt;/pgt; lt;bgt;Method lt;/bgt;Sixteen GPs were randomised to no training, or training consisting of a brief presentation of behaviours identified from a prior study (acronym KEPe Warm: demonstrating Knowledge of the patient; Encouraging [back-channelling by saying ?hmm?, for example]; Physically engaging [touch, gestures, slight lean]; Warm-up: cool/professional initially, warming up, avoiding distancing or non-verbal cut-offs at the end of the consultation); and encouragement to reflect on videos of their consultation. Outcomes were the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS) mean item score (1?7) and patients? perceptions of other domains of communication.lt;pgt;lt;/pgt; lt;bgt;Results lt;/bgt;Intervention participants scored higher MISS overall (0.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.06 to 0.41), with the largest changes in the distress?relief and perceived relationship subscales. Significant improvement occurred in perceived communication/partnership (0.29, 95% CI = 0.09 to 0.49) and health promotion (0.26, 95% CI = 0.05 to 0.46). Non-significant improvements occurred in perceptions of a personal relationship, a positive approach, and understanding the effects of the illness on life.lt;pgt;lt;/pgt; lt;bgt;Conclusion lt;/bgt;Brief training of GPs in predominantly non-verbal communication in the consultation and reflection on consultation videotapes improves patients? perceptions of satisfaction, distress, a partnership approach, and health promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e351-e356
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number635
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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