Communication between the patient and the professional carer lies at the heart of all decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment. However, patients and doctors often have divergent views on care needs; 2-COM (for 2-communication) is a simple patient-completed self-report instrument designed in order to facilitate patient-professional carer communication. Aims - To present 2-COM and to examine whether providing patients with an opportunity to identify and discuss their needs would improve communication and induce changes in care. Methods - The 2-COM is a simple list of 20 common problems, or areas of perceived need, that might be experienced by patients with severe mental illness. The list includes problems with housing, relationships, money, lack of activities, psychological distress, sexuality, symptoms and treatment side effects; 2-COM has shown adequate test-retest reliability and is well accepted by patients as a valued aid to communication with their doctor; 134 patients in a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were recruited at seven European centres: Maastricht, Oviedo, Gijon, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Milan and Nice. The assessment took place over 3 out patient clinic visits; at visit 1, the clinician recorded a list of all current interventions, including medication and non-medical treatments, together with demographic information and an assessment of current level of functioning, using the Global Assessment of Functioning scale. Prior to the second visit, patients were randomised to receive either 2-COM or «standard care» - a routine appointment without 2-COM. Immediately after the interview, all patients, whether they had completed 2-COM or not, completed a confidential questionnaire in which they could indicate the perceived quality of communication. Similarly, clinicians completed a repeat of the list of all current interventions, together with an assessment of any changes to the treatment plan implemented after the interview with the patient. Four to six weeks after clinic visit 2, patients attended the clinic for a third, «routine» clinical interview. Both patients and clinicians then completed the same set of post-interview assessments as at visit 2. The 2-COM induced a stable improvement of patient-reported quality of patient-doctor communication (B = 0.33, P = 0.031), and induced changes in management immediately after the intervention. Treatment change was more likely in patients with more reported needs at the 2-COM and needs most likely to induce treatment changes. In conclusion, the study showed that 2-COM is a useful instrument to expose and subsequently bridge, patient-professional carer discordance on patient needs.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2007|
- Therapeutic intervention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health