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Communication Lab at NIVEL

The NIVEL (Netherlands Institute of Health Services Research) has recently set up a communication laboratory (COMlab) to study practitioner-patient communication under rigorous, experimental conditions. A consultation room has been created, in which two cameras are positioned. These cameras can be controlled from an adjacent room. In this way, role-played medical interactions can be videotaped in the consultation room, and these videotapes can be used in subsequent experiments to study the effect of communication. During these experiments, participants watch the created videos in the COMlab, while placing themselves in the shoes of the video patient and judging the communication from the patient’s perspective. Moreover, using BIOPAC their physiological reactions (i.e. skin conductance and heart rate) to the communication can be measured.


The current tour will provide more insight into the creation and implementation of role-played video-vignettes to study the effect of specific practitioner-patient communication. To do so we will use a recently conducted study as example. In this study, different videos of a cancer ‘bad news’ consultation were created in which specific communication was varied and studied. The rationales for and validity of conducting experimental video-vignette studies on medical communication, as well as the dilemmas encountered when setting up such a study, will be discussed and illustrated with practical examples. If time allows, participants can practice role-playing and recording videos in the COMlab.

Group 1:
Start: 15:25
End: 17:00
(max. 6 participants)