Effective communication is integral to good medical care. Medical professional groups, regulatory agencies, educators, researchers, and patients recognize its importance. Quality of medical communication is directly related to patient satisfaction, improvement in medication adherence, treatment compliance, other outcomes, decreased risk of malpractice, and increase in health care providers' levels of satisfaction. However, skill level and training remain problematic in this area. Fortunately, research has shown that medical communication skills can be successfully taught and acquired, and that improvement in communication skills improves outcomes. The American Migraine Communication Studies I and II evaluated the current state of health care provider-patient communication in headache care and tested a simple educational intervention. They found problematic issues but demonstrated that these areas could be improved. We review theoretical models of effective communication and discuss strategies for improving communication, including active listening, interviewing strategies, and methods for gathering information about headache-related impairment, mood, and quality of life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine