Acupuncture practitioner–patient communication in Japan
Shougo Miyazaki1, Akihito Hagihara1, Yoshito Mukaino2
1Department of Health Services Management and Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyushu University, Japan; 2Department of Sports and Health Science, Fukuoka University, Japan
Abstract: We evaluated acupuncture practitioner–patient communication using pairs of practitioners and patients. Our primary objective was to evaluate the concordance of practitioner and patient perceptions in terms of explanations regarding consultation, therapy, and patient satisfaction. The subjects were 250 practitioners and their 1250 patients in Fukuoka, Japan. Answers were obtained from 91 acupuncture practitioners (36.40%) and 407 patients (32.56%). Of these, responses from 125 pairs without missing values were used for the analysis. When practitioner–patient communication, as evaluated by the difference between the patients’ and the practitioners’ perceptions with respect to the level of practitioner explanation, was good, patient outcome (ie, satisfaction with therapy, improvement in health) was also good. Factors related to poor practitioner–patient communication included age of the practitioner, the number of practitioners at a clinic, the experience of the practitioner, and the age of the patient. These findings may be useful in improving practitioner–patient communication.
Keywords: acupuncture therapy, communication, patient satisfaction, complementary therapies, professional–patient relations
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