The Provider’s Voice: Patient Satisfaction and the Content-filtered Speech of Nurses and Physicians in Primary Medical Care

Abstract

Two studies examined vocal affect in medical providers’ and patients’ content-filtered (CF) speech. A digital methodology for content-filtering and a set of reliable global affect rating scales for CF voice were developed. In Study 1, ratings of affect in physicians’ CF voice correlated with patients’ satisfaction, perceptions of choice/control, medication adherence, mental and physical health, and physicians’ satisfaction. In Study 2, ratings of affect in the CF voices of physicians and nurses correlated with their patients’ satisfaction, and the CF voices of nurses and patients reflected their satisfaction. Voice tone ratings of providers and patients were intercorrelated, suggesting reciprocity in their vocal affective communication.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the following sources of support and funding: Grant No: 1 RO1-8HS10922, “Communication and Satisfaction in Primary Care Teams” (John Heritage: PI), the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research (M. Robin DiMatteo: PI), and the Committee on Research of the U.C. Riverside Academic Senate. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors alone, and do not imply endorsement by these sources. The authors thank Pat Giordani, Suzy O’Donnell, and Jan Scott for their contributions to the development of the content-filtered technologies reported here.

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Correspondence to Kelly B. Haskard.

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Haskard, K.B., Williams, S.L., DiMatteo, M.R. et al. The Provider’s Voice: Patient Satisfaction and the Content-filtered Speech of Nurses and Physicians in Primary Medical Care. J Nonverbal Behav 32, 1–20 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-007-0038-2

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Keywords

  • Voice tone
  • Provider-patient communication
  • Content-filtered speech
  • Patient satisfaction