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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Disclosing medical errors to patients: effects of nonverbal involvement.

Hannawa AF. Patient education and counseling. 2014;94:310-3.

To evaluate how nonverbal communication affects patients' perceptions of disclosure, this video vignette study compared two medical error disclosures that were verbally effective, one with engaged nonverbal communication and another without. Nonverbal communication included appropriate body orientation, head nodding, and smiling. Patients who watched the vignette with engaged nonverbal communication demonstrated better understanding of the error, underscoring the value of empathy in disclosing adverse events.