skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Clinician stress and patient-clinician communication in HIV care.

Ratanawongsa N, Korthuis PT, Saha S, Roter D, Moore RD, Sharp VL, Beach MC. Clinician stress and patient-clinician communication in HIV care. Journal of general internal medicine. 2012 Dec 1; 27(12):1635-42.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Clinician stress is common, but few studies have examined its relationship with communication behaviors. OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between clinician stress and patient-clinician communication in primary HIV care. DESIGN: Observational study. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-three primary HIV clinicians and 350 HIV-infected adult, English-speaking patients at three U.S. HIV specialty clinic sites. MAIN MEASURES: Clinicians completed the Perceived Stress Scale, and we categorized scores in tertiles. Audio-recordings of patient-clinician encounters were coded using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. Patients rated the quality of their clinician''s communication and overall quality of medical care. We used regression with generalized estimating equations to examine associations between clinician stress and communication outcomes, controlling for clinician gender, clinic site, and visit length. KEY RESULTS: Among the 33 clinicians, 70 % were physicians, 64 % were women, 67 % were non-Hispanic white, and the mean stress score was 3.9 (SD 2.4, range 0-8). Among the 350 patients, 34 % were women, 55 % were African American, 23 % were non-Hispanic white, 16 % were Hispanic, and 30 % had been with their clinicians > 5 years. Verbal dominance was higher for moderate-stress clinicians (ratio = 1.93, p < 0.01) and high-stress clinicians (ratio = 1.76, p = 0.01), compared with low-stress clinicians (ratio 1.45). More medical information was offered by moderate-stress clinicians (145.5 statements, p < 0.01) and high-stress clinicians (125.9 statements, p = 0.02), compared with low-stress clinicians (97.8 statements). High-stress clinicians offered less psychosocial information (17.1 vs. 19.3, p = 0.02), and patients of high-stress clinicians rated their quality of care as excellent less frequently than patients of low-stress clinicians (49.5 % vs. 66.9 %, p < 0.01). However, moderate-stress clinicians offered more partnering statements (27.7 vs. 18.2, p = 0.04) and positive affect (3.88 vs. 3.78 score, p = 0.02) than low-stress clinicians, and their patients'' ratings did not differ. CONCLUSIONS: Although higher stress was associated with verbal dominance and lower patient ratings, moderate stress was associated with some positive communication behaviors. Prospective mixed methods studies should examine the complex relationships across the continuum of clinician well-being and health communication.





Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.