The Role of Communication Effectiveness in Patient Satisfaction

By Chelsea Brass

Communication effectiveness in a clinical environment is associated with a host of benefits. These benefits range from better adherence to treatment to a stronger placebo effect (this helps with enhanced treatment), as well as leading to fewer complaints and legal issues. A study to examine how communication effectiveness is measured was carried out by a team of UT researchers led by Dr. David Ring, Dell Medical School’s Associate Dean for Comprehensive Care and Dr. Laura Brown of the Moody College’s Center for Health Communication.

The results of this study found a significant correlation of communication effectiveness and patient satisfaction, an important incentive for healthcare improvement. Additionally, there was also a positive relationship of communication effectiveness and the patient’s perception of clinician empathy. Communication effectiveness is considered a coachable skill that can be acquired through training.

The focus of this interdisciplinary team is to leverage social scientific perspective to find innovative solutions to clinical care, termed implementation science. The Center for Health Communication’s Think Tank hopes to continue to engage the public on these important communication issues as well as encouraging other stakeholders in the UT community will get involved. If you would like to learn more about the think tank, please visit our website.