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Keywords:

  • Nurse practitioner;
  • communication;
  • styles;
  • patient centered;
  • outcomes

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this review was to examine the published research from 1999 to 2005 describing nurse practitioner (NP)–patient interactions and to determine the best practice to enhance patient outcomes.

Data sources: Databases searched included Academic Search Elite, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Health Source Consumer Edition, Health Source Nursing/Academic Edition, Medline, and PsychInfo.

Conclusions: Two communication styles described in the literature and determined by authors were (a) biomedical and (b) biopsychosocial. The biopsychosocial style is identified as patient-centered communication. Seven studies were then analyzed for NPs’ communication styles and the impact that they had on patient outcomes. The studies analyzed demonstrated that biopsychosocial (patient-centered) communication style positively influences patient outcomes as evidenced by (a) improved patient satisfaction, (b) increased adherence to treatment plans, and (c) improved patient health.

Implications for practice: The results of this review indicate that patient-centered communication incorporated into the NPs’ practice is associated with improving patient outcomes such as (a) improved patient satisfaction, (b) increased adherence to treatment plans, and (c) improved patient health. Future research needs to be performed in order to fully study the relationship between NPs using patient-centered communication style and its impact on patient outcomes. Clinical recommendations are made based on findings of the integrated literature review.