Nurse–patient communication in cancer care: does responding to patient's cues predict patient satisfaction with communication



Objective: The aim is to investigate the relationship between nurses' cue-responding behaviour and patient satisfaction.

Methods: One hundred patient–nurse conversations about present concerns were videotaped and patients' expression of emotional cues and nurses' cue responses were coded using the Medical Interview Aural Rating Scale. Nurses (N=34) and patients (N=100) were recruited from seven oncology inpatient clinics from a University Medical Centre.

Results: A mixed-model analysis was conducted to examine whether cue responding was related with patient satisfaction with the conversation, after adjusting for confounding variables and correlation due to repeated measure of each nurse. Nurses' cue responding was independently related to patient satisfaction. Controlling for the level of cue responding, palliatively treated patients were more satisfied with the communication than curatively treated patients.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that nurses' cue-responding behaviour is appreciated by the patients. Future studies might focus on the effect of improved cue-responding skill on more distal outcome measures, such as identification of concerns, mood and coping behaviour. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.