How to Best Communicate with Your Patients
Woo: It is hard to walk into a family's room where they've just been told that their loved one is about to die or be devastated and then ask them if they would participate into a study. It's just hard to do.
France: I try to sit always at high level so that you're not looking down on somebody or walking in with a stiff looking notebook in a white coat and talking down to them and saying things they don't understand, but rather sitting at the same eye level and talking one-to-one and starting with open-ended questions. "Do you understand what's happening to you right now? Are you comfortable? Would it be okay if I talk to you for a few minutes?"
Edwards: We would start our discussion by saying, because we're recruiting African-Americans, "Do you know that African-Americans are at a greater risk of stroke and often don't do as well after they have strokes?" And the person will say, "No, why?" And we say, "Well, that's what our project is all about." We're trying to figure out how to better treat stroke, particularly in African Americans. Would you be willing to help us?
Woo: You should present a series of facts, and the person who hears them should reach a particular conclusion from those facts. And when you give them the same conclusion, now you've truly communicated.
Dromerick: It's more about A, can I trust this person sitting across from me? B, do I understand what they're trying to accomplish? C, do I understand why it's important to me, and the people that I care about? That's a teaching role, an empathy role - putting yourself in the other person's seat role, and that for me is the most effective way to do it.