Challenges to Interpersonal 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:
 Challenges to Interpersonal Communication

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This chapter starts by describing the importance of interpersonal communication and relationships between patients and clinicians for ensuring high quality health care, drawing upon numerous studies that report better clinical outcomes with better communication. It then presents various challenges to interpersonal communication between patients with disabilities and clinicians, ranging from issues such as attitudes of clinicians to lack of accommodations for persons who are blind, experience low vision, deaf, or hard of hearing. The chapter presents examples of inadequate or damaging interpersonal communication. It raises particular concern about discussions of potentially sensitive topics, such as sexuality and reproductive health, mental health, and substance abuse.

Keywords: disability; health care quality; communication; health literacy; blind; deaf; sign language interpreters; reproductive health; mental health; substance abuse

Chapter.  10018 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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