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We believe that the application of practical communication skills and patient-centered care may reverse this downward trend in the PPR. However, while this has heuristic value for some educators and clinicians, the scientific basis for benefit has not been established.  Therefore, a multidisciplinary Rome Foundation Working Team was created with the following objectives:

  1. To review the scientific evidence in medicine, behavioral science, and gastroenterology on the effect of enhanced communication skills and patient-centered care on a) patient-provider satisfaction, b) adherence to treatment, c) clinical outcomes.
  2. To review specific factors that influence the patient-provider relationship: a) sociocultural aspects, b) health care system constraints, and c) the patient perspective
  3. To review the outcome of communication skills training on learner satisfaction and clinical behaviors
  4. To provide guidelines to providers to help them improve their communication skills in a time-efficient manner.
  5. To make recommendations to improve the PPR with consideration to providing:  a) guidelines to learn and teach communication skills, b) educational programs for curricula, recertification, and CME, c) Incentivization for providers and educators who utilize or teach communication skills, and d) further recommendations for research


A Review of the Evidence and Recommendations on Communication Skills and the Patient–Provider Relationship: A Rome Foundation Working Team Report

(2021). American Journal of Gastroenterology, 161:1670–1688
Douglas A. Drossman, MD, Lin Chang, MD, Jill K. Deutsch,MD, Alexander C. Ford, MD, Albena Halpert, MD, Kurt Kroenke,MD, MACP; Samuel Nurko, MD, MPH, Johannah Ruddy, MEd, Julie Snyder, PsyD, and Ami Sperber MD

Members of the Working Team


DrossmanDouglas Drossman, MD
President Emeritus & Chief Operating Officer, Rome Foundation
Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Psychiatry
UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders
University of North Carolina
Center for Education and Practice
of Biopsychosocial Patient Care and
Drossman Gastroenterology
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Lin Chang, MD
Professor of Medicine
Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress
Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA, USA


Jill Deutsch, Yale University

Jill K. Deutsch, MD
Yale University School of Medicine
Clinical Fellow in Training
New Haven, Connecticut, USA




Professor Alexander C. Ford

Alex Ford, MD
Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
University of Leeds
Leeds, United Kingdom




Albena Halpert, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Kurt Kroenke, MD, MACP
Research Scientist
William M. Tierney Center for Health Services Research
Regenstrief Institute

Professor of Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine
Bloomington, Indiana, USA


Johannah Ruddy, M. Ed. Executive Director

Johannah Ruddy, M. Ed.
Executive Director
The Rome Foundation
Wake Forest, North Carolina, USA




Julie Snyder, Psy.D.
Director, GI Psychology Service
Pediatric Psychologist
Department of Gastroenterology & Nutrition
Boston Children’s Hospital



Ami Sperber, MD
Emeritus Professor of Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Beer-Sheva, Israel

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