Patients Prefer Doctors Who Face Them Rather Than Computer Screen Interview with:
Dr. Ali Haider, MBBS MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine
Division of Cancer Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX What is the background for this study?

Response: Patients with chronic and serious illnesses such as cancer often experience high physical and psychosocial symptoms. Recent studies have reported association of physicians’ examination room computer use with less face to face interactions and eye contact. It’s important for the clinicians to look for certain physical cues to better understand the well being of their patients. Therefore we conducted this randomized clinical trial to understand patients perception of physicians compassion, communication skills and professionalism with and without the use of examination room computer. What are the main findings?

Response: Patients perceived physicals who communicated face to face without the use of computer as more compassionate, professional and with better communication skills. They also preferred physician who communicated face to face as their own provider. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Our study suggest that patients with serious illnesses such as cancer will prefer their provides undivided attention. They may also perceive doctors who engage in computer use during conversation as more distracted. Its interesting that patients perceived physicians who communicated face to face not only compassionate but also more professional. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We would consider more randomized clinical trials in younger population and those with higher computer literacy as their perception towards their doctors who use examination room computer might be different .

No disclosures Thank you for your contribution to the community.


ASCO abstract 2017 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium

Effects of examination room computer on cancer patients perception of physician’s compassion, communication skills, and professionalism: A randomized clinical trial.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on October 29, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD