Date of Award


Degree Name

Communication Studies


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Bertram Gross

Second Advisor

Camilla Brammer

Third Advisor

Edward Woods

Fourth Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


Patient/physician communication is recognized as an important topic in the medical literature. The subject has steadily been increasing in the frequency of reporting in the literature. After a comprehensive review of this literature, positive patient/physician communication has been clearly linked to improved patient and physician satisfaction, increased compliance with treatments, improved health outcomes, decreased risks of litigation, as well as creating a more caring, empathetic relationship. Yet despite these advantages, patient/physician communication does not occupy a significant portion of the medical school curriculum and styles of physician communication that promote positive patient/physician communication are not readily used. This study examines the medical literature during the 10-year period from 1989 through 1998 and categorizes and reviews the major themes presented in patient/physician communication.


Physician and patient.

Communication in medicine.