Compassionate communication: Keeping patients at the heart of practice in an advancing radiographic workforce

TAYLOR, A., BLEIKER, J. and HODGSON, Denyse (2021). Compassionate communication: Keeping patients at the heart of practice in an advancing radiographic workforce. Radiography, 27 (Supp1), S43-S49.

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Introduction Compassion is a poorly understood concept in diagnostic and therapeutic radiography, but an increase in its focus was recommended in the Francis Report (2013). Much of the healthcare literature including policy and protocol has focussed on benchmarking and individualising compassion. Two separately conducted doctoral research projects, one therapeutic and one diagnostic, aimed to conceptualise compassion in order to understand its meaning and behavioural expression. Methods A constructivist approach was taken with appropriate ethical approval. Patients and carers, student radiographers and radiographers took part in interviews and focus groups and tweets were harvested from a Twitter journal club discussion between radiographers of the second author's published literature review. Data were transcribed and analysed thematically. Findings Key aspects of communication are fundamental to giving compassionate patient-centred care. These include verbal and non-verbal cues, actively listening and engaging and establishing rapport with the patient. Specific skills associated with these are also identified in these studies. Conclusion Keeping the patient as a person at the centre of radiographic practice in the rapidly evolving technical and cultural environment in which it exists requires timely and appropriate behavioural expressions of compassion from radiographers deploying a range of highly specific communication and interpersonal skills. Implications for practice When undertaking reflective practice, radiographers could consider key aspects of how they communicate with patients, including: verbal (in particular the language they use with patients and their tone of voice); non-verbal (especially eye contact and smiling and their body language). They could also usefully explore and develop skills in reading their patients’ body language as well as their own in order to pick up subtle or hidden cues that might suggest a patient is suffering emotionally or psychologically. Finally, they could think about the sort of targeted questions they could ask of patients when welcoming them into the x-ray or treatment room that would both facilitate the procedure and leave the patient feeling that their radiographer had taken a genuine interest in them and their situation. These reflections could then be used to possibly modify their existing communications with their patients.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** Embargo end date: 31-12-9999 ** From Elsevier via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article: This article is under embargo with an end date yet to be finalised. **Journal IDs: issn 10788174 **History: issued 13-08-2021; accepted 21-07-2021
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Page Range: S43-S49
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 14:40
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2022 01:18

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