The Book


The book about communication is published by Elsevier in 2021: ‘Communication skills for physiotherapists’.
It’s written by me, Vincent Kortleve, host of this site.

My book integrates different well known evidence based approaches in the area of communication.
It includes approaches such as shared decision-making, motivational interviewing, pain education and patient education.

Communication skills for physiotherapists

Four roles of the physiotherapist in his communication are central. In addition, the conversation with the patient has been elaborated methodically. The core tasks within the consultation described by Silverman were used for this purpose. These core tasks form the backbone of education for doctors and paramedics, nationally and internationally.

All these elements together, ie the four roles, methodical physiotherapeutic communication and the core tasks, form the central model of the book.
Interested in this model? Read the book, or the page were the integrated model of PT communication is explained.

Various physiotherapy graduate and post-graduate Universities in the Netherlands and Belgium are using the book.

The five parts of the book

The English edition, like the Dutch, contains of five parts.

The first part describes the background of communication. Fundamental aspects that you need to realize before starting any consultation. Think of the attitude and concepts that you use as a care provider. This part also describes the (communicative) roles that you as a physiotherapist fulfil during the consultation. These roles form a common thread in the book.

In the second part you can read about all kinds of aspects that play a role during the conversation. Think of the tasks (or aims) that you have as a physiotherapist during a consultation; what are you doing in the different phases of the conversation, what do you want to achieve? This section also discusses things that require your attention throughout the conversation, such as maintaining the relationship with your patient and providing structure.

In part three, the most comprehensive part of the book, the interviewing during the consultation is elaborated: history taking and the patient’ story, physical assessment, shared decision-making, treatment and more. The provision of education and instruction is also addressed. Just like promoting ‘compliance’.

Part four then discusses all kinds of different situations that can arise during a consultation and where things do not go completely smoothly. Situations that require a slightly different approach or require different competencies. Think of issues like poor patient self-management, reduced health literacy, (persistent or chronic) pain, insufficient intrinsic motivation, communication with children and elderly and communication with people from cultures with different habits and traits.

The last part of the book provides insight into the scientific evidence that’s been fundamental for part one to four.

Physiotherapy Communication model

The common thread

As mentioned above, the common thread of the book, in text and visually, is the model shown here.
It represents the 7 core tasks of the physiotherapist as ‘pie slices’.

You fulfil various roles within these core tasks.
These roles, confidant, coach, communicative detective and teacher, are symbolized by the four icons in the centre of the model.

The attitude from which the therapist works is depicted as an ‘encompassing’ circle: after all, without the appropriate attitude, good skills are like an ’empty shell’.

Additional online material

In addition to the book, there is an online environment with extra material for every reader of the book on Elsevier’s platform, Evolve.
Material that wants to help you apply, in practice, what is described in the book.
Examples of open questions that you can use in the conversation with your patient, for example.
Or metaphors that are useful during explanation to the patient about his health problem.