Good interpersonal communication skills in healthcare can improve health outcomes. If we get it right, we can develop treatments, reduce errors, cut costs and even save lives. However, a challenge is always there. Concerning a social distance, there is still a communication gap among healthcare providers, health communicators and patients resulting from differences in economic, social and cultural backgrounds. We need a soft and effective way to overcome or transcend these differences.

International and National news

Undoubtedly, interpersonal skills are one of the most essential elements to improve effective communication. According to the GULF-TIMES, an international training course-entitled Mastering Emotional Intelligence-has been introduced by The Institute for Population Health (IPH), Qatar. This course aims to help healthcare practitioners in a multi-cultural environment to gain and enhance interpersonal skills. A national news’ review, noted at BMC Health Service Research, states that comprehensive approaches to quality improvement of interpersonal care are a key focus of international health policy.

Soft skills

The construction of dialogues and the exchange of ideas smoothly are substantial ways to enhance Interpersonal communication. Notably, A research study performed in rural South India by a Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow, Abraar Karan, indicates that visual aids as teaching tools improve treatments of patients in the developing world. In the effort to educate eye patients about their medical conditions, the use of visual images transcended the boundaries of literacy, education, gender, and prior medical knowledge. It turns out it does matter what these vulnerable people see.

Missing: the influence of everyday interpersonal communication

We are not the first to start a debate regarding the influence of the context of everyday communication about health. We like sharing our health stories and challenges with our families, friends and co-workers in a natural, comfortable environment. Our health behaviour decisions and relevant changes often occur in a relational context (Cline, 2003, 2011). In contrast, we know far less about what these conversations look like and how they impact medical encounters. This can be considered as a central research question. CHCR, as one of the leaders of health communications research in the UK, recognises the importance of interpersonal skills in providing effective communication in healthcare. A tailored approach to educating employees on the value and obvious utility of these skills is core to CHCR’s curriculum.