Objective: Collecting information during patient encounters is essential for the delivery of patient-centered care. To obtain insight into areas that require more attention in medical communication training, this study explores what difficulties GP trainees encounter when gathering information. Methods: In this phenomenological study, we observed a morning clinic of 15 GP trainees. To explore trainees' experiences with information-gathering, we held brief interviews after every consultation and a lengthier interview directly after the morning clinic. The resulting data were analyzed using template analysis. Results: From trainees' reflections, we distilled five difficulties that trainees experience when gathering information: (1) Goal conflicts; (2) Ineffectiveness of trained communication skills in specific situations; (3) Trainees' distress hampers open communication; (4) Untrustworthy information; (5) Tunnel vision. Conclusion: Information-gathering is difficult for GP trainees. Current generic communication skills training does not seem to support trainees sufficiently to handle effectively the challenges they encounter during consultations. Practice implications: Medical communication training needs to support trainees in handling their goal-conflicts and feelings that hamper information-gathering, while also providing them with communication strategies adapted to handling specific challenging situations.

Doctor-patient communication, General practice, Information-gathering, Medical education, Qualitative research
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2015.03.018, hdl.handle.net/1765/81601
Patient Education and Counseling
Department of General Practice

Giroldi, E, Veldhuijzen, W, de Leve, T, van der Weijden, T, Bueving, H.J, & van der Vleuten, C.P.M. (2015). 'I still have no idea why this patient was here': An exploration of the difficulties GP trainees experience when gathering information. Patient Education and Counseling, 98(7), 837–842. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2015.03.018