Social and Behavioral Influences
This will be a randomized field experiment. Physicians will receive two unannounced covert
standardized patient (SP) visits during the 12-24 months after enrollment. SPs are trained
actors who will pose as patients to assess physician behavior and communication. Each SP
will present just like a real patient, and will have a standardized fabricated scenario and
identity. The SP visit will be unannounced; the physician will not be informed at the time
of the visit that they are seeing an SP. The visits will be covertly audio-recorded. This is
being conducted at 3 sites: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; Purdue, IN; and
University of Michigan.
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
Physicians' Communication Style
To examine the degree to which physicians communication style (ex inclusive, authoritative) and clinical decisions (ex. aggressive,passive) differ according to patient characteristics. Unit of Measure: Audio recordings of office visits, will be transcribed, deidentified, and coded.
Ronald Epstein, MD
University of Rochester
United States: Institutional Review Board
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