AAFP: Mindful Physicians Have More Satisfied Patients

Mindful Physicians Have More Satisfied Patients

Physicians rating themselves as more mindful — nonjudgmentally attentive to their own experience, thoughts and feelings — have more patient-centered communication and more satisfied patients. Measuring the mindfulness of 45 clinicians and later assessing the quality of their interactions with patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, researchers found mindful clinicians were more likely to be patient-centered in their communications, more positive in their emotional tone with patients and more likely to be rated highly on communication and overall satisfaction by patients. The authors conclude mindfulness may be an important pathway to a more humanistic, effective and satisfying practice of medicine. The highly reciprocal influence of patients and clinicians on one another, they add, is in itself a powerful and positive medical tool — perhaps in some situations more powerful than other interventions that can be offered to patients. They call for future research to determine whether improving clinician mindfulness can also improve patient health outcomes.

A Multicenter Study of Physician Mindfulness and Health Care Quality

By Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH, et al

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

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