Article: article from journal or magazin.
Beyond "one size fits all": Physician nonverbal adaptability to patients' need for paternalism and its positive consultation outcomes
In this study, we tested whether physicians' ability to adapt their nonverbal behavior to their patients' preferences for a paternalistic interaction style is related to positive consultation outcomes. We hypothesized that the more physicians adapt their nonverbal dominance behavior to match their patients' preferences for physician paternalism, the more positive the patients perceive the medical interaction. We assessed the actual nonverbal dominance behavior of 32 general practitioners when interacting with two of their patients and compared it with each of their patients' preferences for paternalism to obtain a measure of adaptability. Additionally, we measured patient outcomes with a questionnaire assessing patient satisfaction, trust in the physician, and evaluation of physician competence. Results show that the more nonverbal dominance the physician shows towards the patient who prefers a more paternalistic physician, as compared to towards the patient who prefers a less paternalistic physician (i.e., the more the physician shows nonverbal behavioral adaptability), the more positive the consultation outcomes are. This means that physicians' ability to adapt aspects of their nonverbal dominance behavior to their individual patients' preferences is related to better outcomes for patients. As this study shows, it is advantageous for patients when a physician behaves flexibly instead of showing the same behavior towards all patients. Physician training might want to focus more on teaching a diversity of different behavior repertoires instead of a given set of behaviors.
Communication style, decision-making, Behavior, Satisfaction, affiliation, Preferences, Dominance, Gender, Care
Web of science
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