Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pain the 5th Vital Sign: Making Good Interview Skills Better

Initial steps in interviewing: The patient history is the single most important component in making a diagnosis. Showing interest and allowing the patient to explain all his or her concerns are useful and economic techniques. Open-ended questions encourage full disclosure; more narrowly focused questions test hypotheses. Positive nonverbal physician behavior and pauses in the discussion encourage openness. Repeating and summarizing information confirm the patient's words and reveal the physician's interest and trust.

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