Physician Communication in the Operating Room.

Health communication

PubMedID: 24885399

Kirschbaum KA, Rask JP, Fortner SA, Kulesher R, Nelson MT, Yen T, Brennan M. Physician Communication in the Operating Room. Health Commun. 2014;1-11.
In this study, communication research was conducted with multidisciplinary groups of operating-room physicians. Theoretical frameworks from intercultural communication and rhetoric were used to (a) measure latent cultural communication variables and (b) conduct communication training with the physicians. A six-step protocol guided the research with teams of physicians from different surgical specialties: anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and obstetrician-gynecologists (n = 85). Latent cultural communication variables were measured by surveys administered to physicians before and after completion of the protocol. The centerpiece of the 2-hour research protocol was an instructional session that informed the surgical physicians about rhetorical choices that support participatory communication. Post-training results demonstrated scores increased on communication variables that contribute to collaborative communication and teamwork among the physicians. This study expands health communication research through application of combined intercultural and rhetorical frameworks, and establishes new ways communication theory can contribute to medical education.