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From The CriticsReviewer: Gita Rupani, M.D.(University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: The five sections of this handbook cover principles of communication, routine clinical applications in anesthesiology, communication in specific contexts with patients, communication with colleagues and administrators, and advanced communication techniques.
Purpose: The book suggests strategies for effective communication, such as addressing patients' perceptions, their need for control, and their desire to assist and cooperate with their care. It reinforces behaviors learned during anesthesia training and stresses the use of language to deliver the message more effectively.
Audience: It is intended to offer anesthesiologists a resource to help improve communication. Although it is targeted at improving communication in the operating room, the book would benefit other professional groups as well. Most experienced anesthesiologists are aware of the suggested practices in this book, but they will find it refreshing. The chapter on teaching and research reiterates known facts, but it is valuable to all who teach, publish, supervise, and practice.
Features: The book has a very important message, but it is fun and easy to read. Each chapter starts with a proverb, an interesting sentence, a cartoon illustration, and a description of what the chapter is about, and ends with a summary of key points. The book suggests a few concepts, such as "LAURS" (Listening reflectively, Acceptance, Utilization, Reframing, Suggestion) and "GREAT" (Greeting, Rapport, Explanation, Addressing concerns, Tacit agreement and Thanks) to use to develop and maintain a rapport during interactions as well as to structure interactions, essentially a new way to look at interactions. The main focus is on improving patient perceptions and feeling of participation in their care through effective communication. The repeated mention of the GREAT and LAURS concepts is noticeable but unavoidable due to their application in different clinical contexts.
Assessment: Overall, this is an excellent resource on effective communication in healthcare. It brings up interesting communication concerns with patients interacting with anesthesiologists in different clinical contexts and it reminds one to prioritize patient perceptions that will allow patient autonomy and cooperation and decrease patient anxiety.