Patient question asking in physician-patient interaction.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patient question asking may be regarded as not only a method of information seeking but as a mechanism of patient participation in the medical dialogue. As such, the study of question asking behavior provides insight into the physician-patient communication process. Presented is an analysis of data gathered as part of an experimental intervention designed to increase patient question asking during routine medical visits. Audiotape recordings of two physicians in 123 medical visits were content analyzed to identify the number, content, and form of patient questions, as well as a variety of other interaction variables. These measures were then related to patient satisfaction with care. Findings indicate that the experimental intervention had significant effect on increasing the number of direct questions asked and that these were asked outside of their usual interaction pattern. Further, the relationship between question asking and satisfaction differed in the two groups. The study contributes to our understanding of physician-patient communication dynamics and the information seeking process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-409
Number of pages15
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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