Clinical Issues: Encouraging the Discussion of Psychosocial Issues The medical literature provides considerable support for the notion that addressing psychosocial issues with patients has a positive effect. Research has shown that discussion of the psychosocial dimensions of a patient’s illness is associated with greater compliance with the treatment plan, greater satisfaction with treatment, a more effective patient-physician relationship, ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   March 01, 2004
Clinical Issues: Encouraging the Discussion of Psychosocial Issues
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Burroughs
    Department of Communication Disorders, Bowling Green, State University, Bowling Green, OH
  • Editor’s Note: This paper was submitted by a Division 1 member following the Call for Papers on the topic of counseling and speech-language pathology. We thank Dr. Burroughs and encourage members to respond to future calls.
    Editor’s Note: This paper was submitted by a Division 1 member following the Call for Papers on the topic of counseling and speech-language pathology. We thank Dr. Burroughs and encourage members to respond to future calls.×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   March 01, 2004
Clinical Issues: Encouraging the Discussion of Psychosocial Issues
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, March 2004, Vol. 11, 25-26. doi:10.1044/lle11.1.25
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, March 2004, Vol. 11, 25-26. doi:10.1044/lle11.1.25
The medical literature provides considerable support for the notion that addressing psychosocial issues with patients has a positive effect. Research has shown that discussion of the psychosocial dimensions of a patient’s illness is associated with greater compliance with the treatment plan, greater satisfaction with treatment, a more effective patient-physician relationship, as well as better treatment outcome (Barrier, Li, & Jensen, 2003).
What can we do to encourage the discussion of psychosocial issues with our clients and their families? Medical researchers have explored this in depth. The initial interview with a patient is a critical time for making it known that discussion of psychosocial issues is appropriate and useful. Barrier and colleagues (2003) suggest that physicians often divert the flow of interaction away from psychosocial issues by asking only closed-ended questions about signs and symptoms. In doing so, they tend to maintain a focus on medical, rather than psychosocial, issues. To counter this, it is important to rely more on open-ended questions that allow a patient to bring up what is actually of most concern to them (Beckman & Frankel, 1984).
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