Aretha Franklin’s 1967 adaptation of Otis Redding’s “Respect” gave the song fame, contributed to the feminist movement and is widely credited with propelling her career. In the chorus, Franklin repeatedly sings “R-E-S-P-E-C-T—find out what it means to me”. A new study by Quigley and colleagues in the Journal of General Internal Medicine turns the lens of this important question onto clinical consultations, reaffirming Franklin’s call in the private realm of physicians and patients.
Using a large sample of survey data from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS), the authors tested the hypothesis that the most important communication predictor of patients’ overall physician rating is the item assessing patient’s perception of whether the physician showed respect. For 23 of 28 medical specialties, showing respect was the most predictive item of overall physician ratings, accounting for more than four times as much variance as the other survey items assessing communication behaviors.
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