Non-verbal communication in meetings of psychiatrists and patients with schizophrenia.
197 - 205
Acta Psychiatr Scand
MetadataShow full item record
OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence found that patients with schizophrenia display non-verbal behaviour designed to avoid social engagement during the opening moments of their meetings with psychiatrists. This study aimed to replicate, and build on, this finding, assessing the non-verbal behaviour of patients and psychiatrists during meetings, exploring changes over time and its association with patients' symptoms and the quality of the therapeutic relationship. METHOD: 40-videotaped routine out-patient consultations, involving patients with schizophrenia, were analysed. Non-verbal behaviour of patients and psychiatrists was assessed during three fixed, 2-min intervals using a modified Ethological Coding System for Interviews. Symptoms, satisfaction with communication and the quality of the therapeutic relationship were also measured. RESULTS: Over time, patients' non-verbal behaviour remained stable, whilst psychiatrists' flight behaviour decreased. Patients formed two groups based on their non-verbal profiles, one group (n = 25) displaying pro-social behaviour, inviting interaction and a second (n = 15) displaying flight behaviour, avoiding interaction. Psychiatrists interacting with pro-social patients displayed more pro-social behaviours (P < 0.001). Patients' pro-social profile was associated reduced symptom severity (P < 0.05), greater satisfaction with communication (P < 0.001) and positive therapeutic relationships (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Patients' non-verbal behaviour during routine psychiatric consultations remains unchanged, and is linked to both their psychiatrist's non-verbal behaviour and the quality of the therapeutic relationship.
AuthorsLavelle, M; Dimic, S; Wildgrube, C; McCabe, R; Priebe, S
- Centre for Psychiatry