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The Psychological Effects of Physicians’ Communication Skills on COVID-19 Patients

Authors Al-Zyoud W, Oweis T, Al-Thawabih H, Al-Saqqar F, Al-Kazwini A, Al-Hammouri F

Received 29 January 2021

Accepted for publication 19 March 2021

Published 7 April 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 677—690

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S303869

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Walid Al-Zyoud,1 Thelal Oweis,2 Haytham Al-Thawabih,3 Fawwaz Al-Saqqar,2 Akeel Al-Kazwini,1 Fawzi Al-Hammouri4

1School of Applied Medical Sciences, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan; 2School of Basic Sciences and Humanities, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan; 3School of Applied Humanities and Languages, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan; 4Specialty Hospital Amman, Amman, Jordan

Correspondence: Walid Al-Zyoud
German Jordanian University, Amman Madaba Street, P.O. Box 35247, Amman, 11180, Jordan
Tel +962 6 429 4401
Fax +962 6 430 0215
Email [email protected]

Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected physician–patient communication (PPC) in multiple ways. This study aims to report on the impact of physician–patient communication (PPC) skills on COVID-19 patients’ psychology in Jordan.
Sample and Methods: In this study, two questionnaires were designed. The first questionnaire targeted physicians, with 72 responses, and the second questionnaire targeted patients, with 248 responses. Both questionnaires contained common sections covering nine aspects of communication such as empathy, honesty, optimism, simple and deliberateness.
Results: This study found that the psychological effect of physicians’ positive communication skills on COVID-19 patients is significant. There were almost statistical agreement between physicians’ and patients’ questionnaire responses that the physicians’ communication skills have positively affected the patients’ psychological status; all patients’ responses confirmed this finding.
Conclusion: Based on this study’s findings, appropriate and continuous training will advance physicians’ communication skills in the form of exercises that could be as simple as class- or lecture-based activities, or using technology-based learning. Using a protocol or handbook to guide such communication is another essential strategy to enhance physician–patient communication (PPC). The study recommends that physicians must be aware that PPC skills required may vary depending on whether they are dealing with a pandemic or non-pandemic situation. Generally, appropriate or positive communication skills are considered one of the main factors effecting patients’ psychological responses to their diagnosis.

Keywords: psychological effects, communication skills, COVID-19, pandemic, physicians and patients

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