Clinical Competence and Technical Communication

Lisa I. Iezzoni and Bonnie L. O'Day

in More than Ramps

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195172768
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865710 | DOI:
 Clinical Competence and Technical Communication

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This chapter explores communication between patients with disabilities and clinicians about “technical” matters—the purportedly objective “facts” that guide clinical decision making, such as discussions about symptoms, signs, therapeutic options, and treatment side effects. It discusses concerns that clinicians may have inadequate scientific knowledge about many disabling conditions, and they therefore make decisions based on their personal views of patients' quality of life rather than objective medical evidence. Conflicts can arise when clinicians fail to appreciate the value persons with disabilities place on their lives. The chapter also discusses problems making clinical information, such as recommendations for treatments and warnings about side effects, accessible to persons with impaired vision or hearing. Failure to accommodate patients' communication needs can compromise patients' safety.

Keywords: disability; health care quality; physician training; physician knowledge; blind; deaf; hard of hearing; Braille; satisfaction with care

Chapter.  7014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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