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Table 2 Final code list with definitions and examples per code

From: Patients’ views on changes in doctor-patient communication between 1982 and 2001: a mixed-methods study

General communication characteristics
Code Definition Examples
Preparing patient Preparing and directing patients by announcing examination or provide structure in the consultation + GP: “I am going to take your blood pressure”
   - Does not announce what he is going to examine
Asking questions Questions by the GP that refer to the medical complaint or psychosocial aspects related to the complaint + The doctor asked about her leg cramps
   - Did not ask relevant questions
Explaining Giving explanations about the medical complaint, examination, or psychosocial aspects of the complaint + Explains the function of the medicine
   - Did not mention the blood pressure after examination
Working efficiently Working efficiently and being organized + Immediately comes to the point talking about the ECG
   - Was very busy with paper work before he could give attention to the patient
Taking time for patient Being patient and calm + Takes a lot of time for the patient
   - Is fast, hurried, and uninterested
Talking intelligibly Any comments on talking intelligibly; patient unable to understand what GP is saying + Clearly pronouncing the sentences because of patient’s deafness
   - Talking too softly and not finishing his sentences
Communicating appropriately General comments on communication and the words used by the GP + Very relaxed communication between doctor and patient
   - GP is too nonchalant
Biomedical quality
Code Definition Examples
Decision making Deciding on a treatment, giving advice, prescribing medicine + Gives multiple options, lets the patient make a choice
   - Does not give an advice
Performing correctly Technically good performance, proceeding correctly + Takes the initiative to measure blood pressure
   - Does not examine the shoulder
Psychosocial quality
Code Definition Examples
Being alert to psychosocial signals Noticing psychosocial signals, paying attention to patient’s mental state + He identifies the concerns of the patient
   - GP does not react when Mrs says that she does not sleep well because of tension
Giving advice Giving advice on psychosocial aspects of the complaint + Patient gets a referral to psychologist
   - Only gives brief information about whether or not the patient can go back to work
Interpersonal quality
Code Definition Examples
Offering continuity Being familiar with the patient and knowing patient’s personal background + Recaps what was discussed in the past
   - Not well informed about the patient’s medical history
Being involved Showing sincere involvement and adopting a personal approach + Asks how patient experienced her recent hospitalization
   - Very business-like
Treating respectfully Being polite; being friendly; taking time to greet patient + Speaks very respectfully to older lady
   - Does not greet the patient at the start of the consultation
Listening attentively Paying full attention to patient; listening; showing interest; not permitting distraction by telephone interruptions + Shows interest in the patient
   - There is not much eye contact
Reassuring Verbally and non-verbally showing reassurance and support + Reassures patient by saying ‘You don’t have to worry’
   - Tense atmosphere; which does not reassure the patient
Treating patient as equal Taking patient seriously; not being arrogant or patronizing + Takes the patient seriously
   - The GP talked about the patient and did not put much effort in establishing contact with the patient
Following the patient’s story Being patient-centered; reacting to the patient’s input; taking patient’s view into account + Reacts to patient’s comments
   - Rejects all suggestions by the patient (e.g. taking vitamin supplements)
Showing appraisal Giving compliments; show appraisal + Gives a compliment about quitting smoking
   - Did not react to the fact that patient lost weight
Respecting privacy Dealing correctly with confidentiality + GP says: I’d rather give it [prescription] to the person who is going to use it
   - It is not professional to talk about other patients during the consultation