Effect of patient-centered communication training on discussion and detection of nonadherence in glaucoma

Steven R. Hahn, David S. Friedman, Harry A. Quigley, Sameer Kotak, Elizabeth Kim, Meaghan Onofrey, Corey Eagan, Jack Mardekian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess communication about adherence and to determine the impact of communication skills training on physicians approach to nonadherence. Design: Sociolinguistic analysis of videotaped community ophthalmologists encounters with patients with glaucoma before and after training. Patients in both phases and physicians in phase I knew communication was being studied but not what the focus of the study was. In phase II, physicians knew the targeted communication behaviors. Participants: Twenty-three ophthalmologists and 100 regularly scheduled patients with glaucoma (50 per phase). Methods: An educational program with videotaped vignettes of simulated patient encounters using audience response and role play to teach patient-centered communication skills, including a 4-step adherence assessment and the use of open-ended questions in ask-tell-ask sequences. Main Outcome Measures: Physician eliciting an acknowledgment of nonadherence during a clinical encounter compared with acknowledgment of nonadherence during a postvisit research interview (primary outcome), and performance of targeted communication and substantive discussion of adherence. Results: After intervention, physicians increased the proportion of open-ended questions (15% vs 6%; P =0.001) and specifically about medication taking (82% compared with 18% of encounters; P<0.001). Compared with the absence of ask-tell-ask communication, 32% of phase II encounters included a complete ask-tell-ask sequence, 78% included an ask-tell sequence, and 32% a tell-ask sequence (P<0.001). Three of 4 steps for assessment of adherence were more common in phase II, and substantial discussions of adherence occurred in 86% versus 30% of encounters (P<0.001). In phase II, physicians elicited acknowledgment of nonadherence in 78% (7/9) of those who acknowledged nonadherence in the postvisit interview compared with 25% in phase I (3/12; P =0.03). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that experienced community physicians significantly improved their communication strategies and ability to detect and address nonadherence after a 3-hour educational program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1347.e6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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