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Interviewing Techniques

It is known that interviewing patients is the exchange of some important information concerning the patient in order to develop proper relationships with him or her in the process of treatment. In medicine, interviewing is considered to be “the premier skill” (Fortin & Dwamena, 2011, p.1). The information got in the interview will help to make the correct diagnosis. Moreover, this information reveals the current condition of the patient.

There are several interviewing techniques which help to conduct an effective interviewing process. The first interviewing technique is to explain the client the purpose of the interview. This will help to prepare the client for the interviewing questions. The client should know the basic information about the case manager and the agency. The second significant interviewing technique is to provide comfortable conditions during the process of interview in order to build a relationship. It means that it is necessary to remain silent when the patient is making informative statements concerning his state and other facts. It will help to evaluate the client’s appearance, speech, mood, and even his thoughts (Jane, 2011, para. 4). The third important interviewing technique is to use paraphrasing in the process of interview. Paraphrasing questions helps patients to see the question from the new perspective. Moreover, it helps patients to concentrate their attention on the case manager’s question (Holt, 2000).

When a case manager is going to interview the elderly people, he or she should treat them with respect because the elderly people belong to the so-called difficult population. It is necessary to use facial expressions and gestures in order to enhance comprehension.

Moreover, it is very important to speak clearly because some elderly people are deaf or have hearing problems. However, it is better to avoid shouting because it can offend the elderly clients. Besides, it is known that interviewing the elderly patients requires more time as the responses are often slow. It is better to avoid large amount of information during the interview with elderly people as they have problems with concentration of their attention. It is better to avoid asking open ended questions as they can take much time. Today it is very important to pay attention to the emotional state of the elderly patients because many clients have depression which leads to changes in mood. That is why it is better to assess depression using the Geriatric Depression Scale. Such changes in mood as crying, sadness and different cognitive alterations including loss of interest, forgetfulness, and so on can lead to bad results in the interviewing process. Besides, it is necessary to pay special attention to social support and economic situation of the client, as many elderly people have no family and friends and need hospitalization for effective treatment (Holt, 2000). Besides, it is very important for the case manager to use his listening skills. In many cases, there are serious problems with understanding the speech of the elderly patients. The use of straightforward questions will help to avoid these problems.


Fortin, A.H. & Dwamena, F.S. (2011) Patient-centered Interviewing. UpTodate.com. October 3, 2011. Retrieved from:< http://www.uptodate.com/contents/patient-centered-interviewing?source=search_result&selectedTitle=3%7E150>
Holt, B. (2000) Practice of Generalist Case Management. Allyn & Bacon.
Jane, M. (2011) Clinical Interviewing Techniques. Ehow.com. May 19, 2011. Retrieved from:< http://www.ehow.com/info_8454395_clinical-interviewing-techniques.html>