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VOLUME 54 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2019

Patientcentered communication in type 2 diabetes: The facilitating and constraining factors in clinical encounters

Objective: To explore the perceptions of the constraining and facilitating factors to patientcentered communication in clinical encounters of patients with type 2 diabetes and the providers involved in their care.

Data Sources/Study Setting: Patients (n = 12) and providers (n = 33) involved in diabetes care in northern Portugal.

Study Design: Seven focus groups.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods: Grounded theory, using open, axial, and selective coding.

Principal Findings: Patients focused on the patientprovider relationship, while providers emphasized the constraining factors when exchanging information and the facilitating factors regarding disease and treatmentrelated behavior. Patients and providers both agreed on some constraints (power imbalance, avoidance of criticism, disease minimization, use of jargon, and insufficient competencies and consistency among providers) and facilitators (seeing patients as persons, providing tailored information in plain language, and recognizing the “wakeup call”). Patients perceived an aggressive attitude as a barrier to communication, but providers perceived it as a facilitator. Patients included issues related to trust, respect, and psychosocial support as important factors to them. Only providers mentioned the influence of macrolevel interventions and patients’ socioeconomic position as essential factors.

Conclusions: Improvements in patientcentered communication depend on fostering the patientprovider relationship, patients’ participation and involvement, and training providers’ communication skills.

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