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Relationship between outpatients' perceptions of physicians' communication styles and patients' anxiety levels in a Japanese oncology setting


  • Takayama, Tomoko
  • Yamazaki, Yoshihiko
  • Katsumata, Noriyuki


For life-threatening illnesses such as cancer that require a long-term treatment regimen, communication is particularly important between doctors and patients. While it is assumed that the more serious the illness, the greater the need to relieve patients' anxiety, physicians' communication styles can directly influence patients' anxiety levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between outpatients' perceptions of physicians' communication styles and the patients' anxiety levels in oncology settings. Patient anxiety level was measured using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after the consultation. The Perceived Physician's Communication Style Scale was developed in this study. Analysis of responses to the scale resulted in four factors -- "acceptive", "patient-centered", "attentive", and "facilitative" -- of the physician's communication style and explained 63.7% of the variance. The inter-correlation for overall scale items was 0.95. Patient satisfaction with the medical encounter was also measured to validate the physician's communication style scale. Moderate correlation between the physician's communication style and satisfaction was observed and confirms the relationship between a favorable communication style and a patient's satisfaction. After the consultation, the patients' anxiety levels dropped 5.0±1.5 points (p

Suggested Citation

  • Takayama, Tomoko & Yamazaki, Yoshihiko & Katsumata, Noriyuki, 2001. "Relationship between outpatients' perceptions of physicians' communication styles and patients' anxiety levels in a Japanese oncology setting," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(10), pages 1335-1350, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:53:y:2001:i:10:p:1335-1350

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    Cited by:

    1. Katherine Treiman & Lauren McCormack & Murrey Olmsted & Nancy Roach & Bryce B. Reeve & Christa E. Martens & Rebecca R. Moultrie & Hanna Sanoff, 2017. "Engaging Patient Advocates and Other Stakeholders to Design Measures of Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care," The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Springer;Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, vol. 10(1), pages 93-103, February.


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