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Patient Provider Interaction

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4536-0
196 pages
November 2010, Polity
Patient Provider Interaction (0745645364) cover image


This book offers a much-needed introduction to the dynamics of the communication exchange between providers and patients in the health-care environment. Starting from the principle that health-care-providers and patients try to speak the same language to reach the best decisions for patient care, but often misunderstand each other whilst navigating the process of diagnosis, treatment and care, Lisa Sparks and Melinda Villagran clearly explain how health communication theory and research can help us better understand these complex interactions, and provide strategies for improving patient and provider communication.

Sparks and Villagran cover a broad range of key issues and theories related to provider-patient interaction, including patient information and affective needs, barriers to effective communication in health-care contexts, and communication skills training for providers. Drawing on the most current literature in this vibrant field, they show the transformations that new technologies such as e-mail and text messaging have brought to communication with and between patients and providers, consider the roles of caregivers, both formal and informal, and illustrate how health-care organizations impact on interpersonal interactions. Throughout the book, Sparks and Villagran deftly illustrate how communicative understandings of patient-provider interaction can have positive practical outcomes, feeding into health behaviour change, creating a communication environment which can improve health literacy and ultimately lead to better health outcomes.

With groundbreaking insights, on-point explanations, and deeply moving examples,

Patient and Provider Interaction illuminates and enriches what is most often one of the most important interactions of our lives.

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Table of Contents



Part 1: Introduction to Patient and Provider Interaction.

1 Patient and Provider Interaction: Introduction.

2 Health Literacy.

Part 2: Characteristics Influencing Patient and Provider Interaction.

3 Patient Characteristics.

4 Provider Characteristics.

5 Caregiving Characteristics.

Part 3: Culture and Identity Influences on Patient and Provider Interaction.

6 Cultural Characteristics.

7 Social Identity.

Part 4: Mediated and Organizational Influences on Patient and Provider Interaction.

8 Social Media.

9 Health Care Organizations and Teams.

Part 5: Patient and Provider Interaction Epilogue.

10 Patient and Provider Interaction: Epilogue.

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Author Information

Lisa Sparks is the Foster and Mary McGaw Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences and Director of the M.S. in Health Communication at Chapman University.

Melinda Villagran is Associate Professor of Communication at George Mason University.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Offers a much-needed introduction to communication between providers and patients in the health-care environment.
  • Written by two leading scholars in this field.
  • Designed to provide a textbook overview for undergraduate students, with clear use of examples and pedagogical support throughout.
  • Fully considers new technologies, showing the transformations new media have brought to communication with and between patients and providers.
  • Provides concrete strategies for improving patient and provider communication.
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"There is something for everyone in this book. It is a useful background text and overview of the current knowledge of the best way for the patient and the provider to communicate with each other in the context of health and illness. The book has an inclusive goal to communicate evidence-based good practice with providers, patients, researchers and caregivers and is to be recommended."
Sociology of Health & Illness
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