In cooperation with the Anesthesiology Clinic (AINS) at the University Medical Center Göttingen, we explore physician–family communication.


In this project we focus on communication between physicians and relatives of intensive care patients. The relatives not only need to be kept apprised of all possible information about the health state of the patient, they also might be required to be the patient’s spokesperson for therapy decisions during the treatment. In many cases, the interaction between physicians and relatives might be incriminating for both sides, which in turn can promote misunderstandings and disaffections.  

Our aim is to explore and then identify influence factors for successful conversations between physicians and relatives in the intensive care unit. The methods we use are focused interviews and content analysis. The primary result will be to develop interventions for teaching physician–family communication skills to medical staff members.