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Optimising communication between consumers and clinicians

Peter B Greenberg, Christine Walker and Rachelle Buchbinder
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (5): 246-247.
Published online: 4 September 2006

The new National Health and Medical Research Council toolkit is designed to help

Effective communication between health care consumers and professionals is fundamental for evidence-based clinical practice.1 Clinicians and consumers recognise how difficult it is to exchange even apparently simple information with each other, while difficulties with more complex information are usually obvious to either or both. With increasing expectations of health care consumers that they will share more in decision making, and with greater access to information of variable quality outside of consultations, including the media and Internet, effective communication during consultations becomes even more necessary than before.

  • Peter B Greenberg1,2,0
  • Christine Walker3,0
  • Rachelle Buchbinder4,5,0

  • 1 Department of General Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Chronic Illness Alliance Inc, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 4 Cabrini Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 5 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: Peter.greenberg@mh.org.au

Acknowledgements: 

Dr Rosemary Aldrich, Ms Rosemary Clerehan, Dr Peter Joseph, Professor Judy Lumby and Ms Ros Wood (members of the NHMRC Health Advisory Committee working party), and Ms Stephanie Gates (NHMRC), Ms Hilary Cadman and Ms Janet Salisbury (Biotext Pty Ltd) contributed to the development of the toolkit.

Competing interests:

Peter Greenberg, Christine Walker and Rachelle Buchbinder received payment and travel allowances for attendance at working party meetings. From January to June 2006, Peter Greenberg received a salary as (sessional) Chair of the NHMRC HAC.

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