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    Communication Skills in Medicine
Promoting Patient-Centred Care
Michele Groves and Jennifer Fitzgerald

Patient-centred medicine is increasingly being adopted as a model of practice by doctors and other front-line health professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Central to patient-centred practice is effective communication, which encompasses four essential tasks: to establish rapport and trust, to empathise with patients' problems and view of the world, to educate patients about their immediate problem and their health in general, and to empower patients to be active partners in the decision-making and management processes related to their own health.

This book aims to introduce its readers to communication skills that are based on the principles of patient-centred care, and are applicable in a wide variety of healthcare-delivery settings.

The book opens with a description of the skills needed by all practitioners on a daily basis. Chapters follow that:

  provide insight into dealing with emotions, communication with other professionals, and how to facilitate patient behaviour-change;
  address communication across the lifespan and in specialised settings;
  look at how to communicate with patients suffering chronic disease, and those with particular needs, beliefs and cultural practices; and
  explore sensitive issues (sexuality, medical error, practitioner impairment).

The final chapter explains how a practitioner might successfully negotiate the minefield of tribal cultures that exists in large, complex systems such as healthcare organisations. All chapters include authentic case studies.

All contributing authors, from a wide range of disciplines and specialities, are committed to patient-centred care, and recognise the essential role of communication in this model.

The book is primarily designed to help medical students to develop the communication skills essential for patient-centred practice, but will be of interest to healthcare students generally, and to practising doctors and other health care professionals.

Bibliographic details:

Published, January, 2010. 229 x 153mm. 240 pages.
Includes references and index.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-9804586-8-8. $A19.95 rrp.

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