Review Article

Psychological phenomena in the doctor- Elderly patient relationship

Jose Luis Turabian*

Published: 08 April, 2020 | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | Pages: 019-023

The doctor-patient communication and the aging of the patients attended by the general practitioner are two important concepts that constantly impact medical consultations. This article raises some reflections and conceptualizations about the main psychological phenomena that have a special importance in the doctor-elderly patient communication and relationship: 1) Stereotypes and prejudices; 2) Regression; 3) Transference, countertransference and resistance; 4) Rapport; 5) Empathy; and 6) Paternalism. The GP must be alert about what affecting the communication with the old man and he should put the means to get a warm relationship. Consequently, to achieve effective communication with an older adult: The GP have to take it easy; to be patient; avoiding stereotypes and prejudices; allowing the patient to establish a benign regressive relationship, until if it is possible due to the biopsychosocial context of the elderly patient, he can begin the non-regressive relationship again; recognizing fact of transference, which put the doctor in another place, is inevitable, but taking into account that it greatly affects his relationship with the patients; avoiding countertransference; considering that the therapeutic alliance or rapport is particularly fragile in elderly patients with chronic diseases; giving greater importance to empathy; knowing that the elderly patient frequently accepts the authority of the doctor, but avoiding falling into an iatrogenic paternalism; and smile.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.apmh.1001013 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Elderly; Doctor-Patient Communication; Communication Skills; Prejudice; Paternalism; Empathy; Transference (Psychology); General Practice; Framework


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