Patient Centered Communication: A Synoptic Review of the State of the Art


  • Amanuel Gebru


With rising awareness of the importance of effective communication in health care and the need for patient-centeredness, a transition is taking place from a clinician-centered biomedical to a humanistic biosychosocial approach that centers much of the medical communication on the patient. The transition has led to significant evidence validating numerous patient reported outcomes (PRO) that include better adherence to therapy and illness self-management. This narrative review synthesizes the evidence base on patient centered communication, its distinguishing characteristics, and key strategies, chief among which are the modalities of the Patient Interview, Shared Decision Making (SDM) and Patient Decision Aids (PDA) as well as the Six-Step Protocol for Delivering Bad News. On the basis of the relevant gap identified in medical training, a case is made for the inclusion of communication competency in the Ethiopian medical curriculum that underpins key physician communication skills based on international models and the best practices evidence base.

Key words: Communication, patient-centred, interview, measurement, competency, ethics







Review Article