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Thursday Oct 18, 2018

A simple communication technique to increase patient satisfaction and empowerment

The BATHE technique was designed to quickly obtain psychosocial information to expand the context of SOAP notes and to connect with patients.1 Evidence suggests that exploring these issues during an office visit can both enhance the physician’s understanding of the patient’s life situation and improve patient satisfaction and empowerment. The technique consists of asking five questions:

  • Background – “What is going on in your life?”
  • Affect – “How is it affecting you?”
  • Trouble – “What troubles you most about the situation?”
  • Handling – “How have you been handling this so far?”
  • Empathy – “That sounds very (scary, frustrating, sad, etc.).”

1. Stuart MR, Lieberman JA. The Fifteen Minute Hour: Efficient and Effective Patient-Centered Consultation Skills. 6th ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2018.


Adapted from “Four Evidence-Based Communication Strategies to Enhance Patient Care.”

Posted at 11:30AM Oct 18, 2018 by FPM Editors

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