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Communication Can Impact Treatment

Communication Can Impact TreatmentAfter Surveying Nearly 250 Patients, Doctors, Tufts Researchers Linked Effective Communication With Better Health Results.

Boston [02.21.01] A study of over 250 patients and doctors found gay or female physicians communicate more effectively with HIV patients than straight or male doctors.

The findings, published by two Tufts doctors, also indicated that doctor-patient communication can impact the effectiveness of treatment.

In a number of chronic conditions, "higher quality physician-patient communication is related to better health outcomes," the Tufts study found.

"Longer visit length, a longer patient-physician relationship and female gender were significantly associated with better general communication," Reuters reported. "Better HIV communication was significantly associated with both female physicians and [gay/lesbian/bisexual doctors]."

According to study authors Dr. Ira B. Wilson and Dr. Sherrie Kaplan, communication between doctors and patients may actually affect treatment.

"Higher quality physician-patient communication is related to better health outcomes," the Tufts doctors noted.

The findings, said the Tufts team, may be significant to doctors and physicians around the world.

Studying how "female and homosexual physicians achieve higher quality communication may help other physicians communicate more effectively," Wilson and Kaplan told Reuters.

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