Patient-perceived communication styles of physicians in rehabilitation: The effect on patient satisfaction and compliance in Korea

Sung Soo Kim, Byung Kyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine patient-perceived communication styles (empathic and dominant communication styles) of Korean physicians in rehabilitation and their effects on patient outcomes (patient satisfaction and compliance). Design: A total of 150 rehabilitation patients from a large university hospital in Korea were interviewed with a 26 item-questionnaire. Results: Only 30% of the patients considered their physicians as highly affective whereas about 55% of them viewed their doctors as highly dominant. Physicians' affective and cognitive empathic communication styles were significantly and positively correlated with both patient satisfaction and compliance. Correlation analysis showed that physicians' dominant communication style was significantly but negatively related to patient satisfaction. However, compliance, cross-tabulation, and regression analyses suggested that physicians' dominant communication style may not be a good predictor of patient satisfaction and compliance. Those patients who perceived their physicians as highly affective or highly cognitive showed the highest rates of being completely satisfied, whereas none of those patients who ranked their physicians as least affective or least cognitive said that they were completely satisfied. Conclusion: The results confirmed the existing findings in the West that physician's communication styles were major determinants of the patient outcomes. Patients' highly negative view of their physicians' dominant communication style might raise some concerns about Korean physicians' authoritarian attitudes toward their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1005
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1



  • Communication styles
  • Empathic communication
  • Patient compliance
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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