Behavioral Research Blog

Three examples of nurse-patient interaction research

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Mar 21, 2017

Behavioral observation has become a fundamental component of medical practice and a primary source of clinical research data. The use of video technology in nurse-patient interaction research offers important advantages to scientists in unraveling complex behavior patterns and finding relationships between behaviors, nutrition, effectiveness of interventions, and more.

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, coding schemes, media recorder, healthcare, Viso, coding behavior, healthcare education, medical simulation, health effects, nursing science

Implementing Tailored Activity Programs

Posted by Julie Harrison on Aug 2, 2016

Sometimes pharmacological strategies can hurt more than they help. This is why non-pharmacological strategies are meant to be used as the first-line in the treatment of patients, but it can be difficult to tell which strategies should be used with dementia patients in hospitals.

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Topics: Alzheimer's disease, The Observer XT, video observation, doctor patient interaction, video recording, dementia, coding behavior

Does the sex of a simulated patient affect CPR?

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Apr 20, 2015

It shouldn’t, but it does.

Although men and women are equally at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, studies have found that women are less likely to be resuscitated – by both bystanders and medically-trained personnel. Chelsea Kramer and her colleagues discovered that in the experiment they set up, when faced with either a male or female patient simulator, both men and women rescuers appeared reluctant to remove a female patient simulator’s clothing, with men being significantly more hesitant to do so. However, the hand placement for CPR on the female was more ideal compared to on the male simulated patient.

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, media recorder, simulation, healthcare

Why non-verbal behavior matters

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jan 21, 2015

Take a typical conversation: Hello, how are you? Fine! How are you? {pause} Fine! Shall we …….etcetera. The opening of this conversation is highly structured, isn’t it? The process of turn taking is a crucial and cooperative aspect of conversational speech. Gestures are also of great importance. When your feet are already turned to the door, you are getting ready to run out. Try to read your own signals and you will see!

Conversation closers

In a conversation we include hints like conversation openers, closers, and shifters. It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with: you’re trying desperately to end a conversation, and the other person keeps on talking and does not read the clues you are giving. You say: “Anyway… “ {…Person B keeps talking} “see you Thursday, all right?” and edge toward the door… {Person B talks over you.} “Thursday noon, was it, right?” {Person B still doesn’t get the hint to leave.}…and so on. In this frustrating exchange, Person B repeatedly ignores your conversation closers, both verbal (“right”, “all right”, “anyway”) and nonverbal.

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, eye tracking

Understanding the impact of health information technology on doctor-patient interaction

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Dec 12, 2014

Embracing the technological advances of the last decade, many health care professionals have incorporated information technology into their daily routines. Doctors can carry patient files around on their tablets or laptops and can quickly update a status when needed. Convenience has without a doubt increased, but does such easy access to technology impact the quality of doctor-patient interactions?

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, coding schemes

Healthcare communication - dealing with emotions

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Mar 25, 2014


The importance of dealing with emotions in medical encounters

Unfortunately, sometimes doctors have to give bad news to their patients. Communication studies have shown that breaking bad news is best be done immediately and with clear wording. What is the best step forward? From previous research, we know that hearing bad news evokes physiological arousal. In an aroused condition, it can be hard to stay focused. The information density of a medical encounter can be quite overwhelming. Since doctors explain treatment options and implications in a medical encounter, it is important that the patient recalls the information given to be able to take a well-founded decision. In a recent study, researchers gave the following advice: Clinicians should deal with patients’ emotions before providing additional medical information (Sep et al., 2014).

Affective communication

Milou Sep and colleagues explain how behavioral research techniques can help us understand and improve doctor-patient interaction. According to Sep and colleagues, a doctor can influence the information recall by using affective communication. When reassuring the patient and focusing on continued support, the doctor can help decrease evoked physiological arousal. Decreased physiological arousal then improves the level of information recall.

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Topics: The Observer XT, on-site research, video observation, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, coding schemes

Nurse-child interaction - observing medical encounters

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Feb 5, 2014

Does reassuring help a child to settle down and be comforted?

In order to help health professionals and parents manage child distress more effectively, researchers started observations of interactions in healthcare. They were not observing simulated events, but real interactions in a community setting. In medical encounters, both the parents and the health professionals can play an important role in handling the stress level of children. Yuefang Zhou and Gerry Michael Humphris from the University of St Andrews, Scotland (2013) investigated the relationship between reassurance by dental staff and distress behavior of children receiving preventive procedures. Since this study concerned a preventive procedure where no pain was involved, this study aims to shed light on these specific interventions in healthcare. The researchers selected children aged 3 to 5 years and measured the level of anxiety to determine a base level. The knowledge gained from this study could be used to design more effective interventions for the improvement of child behavioral distress associated with mildly invasive clinical procedures.

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Topics: The Observer XT, on-site research, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter

Doctor-patient communication training program evaluated

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jan 22, 2014

Colleagues from many different universities study communication in healthcare to empower themselves in this process. Every day, new training programs find their way to hospitals and clinics in order to help professionals. From medical encounters between patient and radiation oncologists to nurse-patient interaction between direct-care staff and Korean Americans in nursing or senior living homes, all of these professionals need to be able to convey their message efficiently and effectively in order to practice their profession.

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, coding schemes

Diabetes – interaction between patients can help

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Nov 29, 2013

For many years, researchers have studied the causes of diabetes. These researchers are trying to find the best treatments. Why? The number of people with diabetes worldwide has increased from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008 [1]. With this in mind, the WHO aims to provide scientific guidelines for diabetes prevention, develop norms and standards for diabetes diagnosis and care, and build awareness on the global epidemic of diabetes [1]. World Diabetes Day is marked every year in November (the 14th) – so let’s focus on behavioral research conducted in this research field.

Child and adolescent behavior in Shared Medical Appointments

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Topics: Diabetes, The Observer XT, video observation, doctor patient interaction, parent-child interaction

Evaluating the effectiveness of simulation in healthcare

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Oct 17, 2013

Comparing real cases with simulated cases in healthcare communication
Effective teamwork is important in many occupations but it is crucial when working under the pressure of time in a crisis situation. Most of us can only imagine how stressful it could be when working as a fire fighter, squad team member, or operating room nurse. Understandably, researchers dive into these teamwork processes to see how effective and efficient they are and how they could be improved. In these cases, one minor change in the procedure could influence the stress level and the efficiency in teamwork and thus, the outcome of a crisis situation.

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Topics: The Observer XT, on-site research, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter

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