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Patient-centered care is a vital approach that emphasizes the active involvement of patients in their healthcare decision-making process. Effective communication between healthcare providers and patients is a fundamental component of patient-centered care, as it fosters trust, mutual understanding, and collaboration. This research-based report explores the significance of patient-centered care, the role of initiatives like shared decision-making and patient portals in improving communication, and suggests strategies to prevent conflicts between healthcare providers and patients.

Importance of Patient-Centered Care and Communication:

Trust Building: Patient-centered care promotes trust between patients and healthcare providers, enabling a strong therapeutic relationship. Trust is crucial for effective communication, shared decision-making, and positive health outcomes (1).

Empowerment: Patient-centered care empowers patients to actively participate in their healthcare decisions, leading to improved adherence to treatment plans and better health outcomes (2).

Patient Satisfaction: Effective communication and patient engagement enhance satisfaction levels, promoting patient loyalty and positive healthcare experiences (3).

Quality and Safety: Clear and open communication reduces the risk of medical errors, improves patient safety, and enhances the quality of care delivered (4).

Initiatives to Improve Communication:

Shared Decision-Making: Shared decision-making involves patients and healthcare providers jointly considering treatment options, weighing the benefits and risks, and selecting the most suitable course of action. It promotes patient autonomy and ensures that decisions align with patients’ preferences and values (5).

Patient Portals: Patient portals provide secure online access to health records, test results, appointment scheduling, and communication channels. They facilitate information exchange between patients and healthcare providers, enhancing transparency and engagement (6).

Health Literacy Programs: Health literacy initiatives enhance patients’ understanding of medical information and promote effective communication. They provide education and tools to navigate healthcare systems and make informed decisions (7).

Cultural Competence: Healthcare providers should be trained in cultural competence to understand and respect diverse patient backgrounds, beliefs, and values. Cultural competence improves communication and reduces disparities in healthcare delivery (8).

Strategies to Prevent Conflict:

Active Listening: Healthcare providers should actively listen to patients, demonstrating empathy and understanding. Attentive listening helps identify patient concerns and facilitates effective communication (9).

Clear Communication: Providers should use plain language and avoid jargon, ensuring that patients understand medical information. Clear communication reduces misunderstandings and promotes patient engagement (10).

Respectful Environment: Establishing a respectful and non-judgmental environment is crucial. Healthcare providers should demonstrate respect, dignity, and cultural sensitivity to foster trust and collaboration (11).

Patient Education: Educating patients about their conditions, treatment options, and potential outcomes empowers them to actively participate in their care. Well-informed patients are less likely to engage in conflicts (12).

Conclusion: Patient-centered care and effective communication are essential for building trust and collaboration between healthcare providers and patients. Initiatives like shared decision-making and patient portals enhance communication, promote patient engagement, and improve health outcomes. To prevent conflicts, healthcare providers should prioritize active listening, clear communication, a respectful environment, and patient education. By embracing patient-centered approaches and strengthening communication, healthcare systems can foster positive relationships, improve healthcare experiences, and achieve better health outcomes.


  • Thom, D. H., & Campbell, B. (1997). Patient-physician trust: An exploratory study. Journal of Family Practice, 44(2), 169-176.
  • Epstein, R. M., & Street Jr, R. L. (2011). The values and value of patient-centered care. Annals of Family Medicine, 9(2), 100-103.
  • Barello, S., Graffigna, G., Savarese, M., & Bosio, A. C. (2014). Engaging patients in health management: towards a preliminary theoretical conceptualization. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 19(6), 717-727.
  • World Health Organization. (2017). Patient engagement: Technical series on safer primary care. World Health Organization.
  • Charles, C., Gafni, A., & Whelan, T. (1997). Shared decision-making in the medical encounter: what does it mean? (or it takes at least two to tango). Social Science & Medicine, 44(5), 681-692.
  • Irizarry, T., Shoemake, J., Nilsen, M., Czaja, S., & Beach, S. (2015). Patient portals as a tool for health care engagement: a mixed-method study of older adults with varying levels of health literacy and prior patient portal use. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(3), e43.
  • Berkman, N. D., Sheridan, S. L., Donahue, K. E., Halpern, D. J., & Crotty, K. (2011). Low health literacy and health outcomes: an updated systematic review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 155(2), 97-107.
  • Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Park, E. R. (2005). Cultural competence and health care disparities: key perspectives and trends. Health Affairs, 24(2), 499-505.
  • Levinson, W., Lesser, C. S., & Epstein, R. M. (2010). Developing physician communication skills for patient-centered care. Health Affairs, 29(7), 1310-1318.
  • Brach, C., & Fraserirector, I. (2000). Can cultural competency reduce racial and ethnic health disparities? A review and conceptual model. Medical Care Research and Review, 57(Supplement_1), 181-217.
  • Mauksch, L. B., Dugdale, D. C., Dodson, S., Epstein, R., & Butterfield, P. S. (2008). Relationship, communication, and efficiency in the medical encounter: creating a clinical model from a literature review. Archives of Internal Medicine, 168(13), 1387-1395.
  • Institute of Medicine. (2010). Health literacy: a prescription to end confusion. National Academies Press.