Building Rapport with Patients: OARS Communication Skills

Resource: The OARS Model: Essential Communication Skills 

This short tool describes OARS—a set of verbal and non-verbal communication skills that helps clinicians and educators in primary care practices to engage and build rapport with patients and assess their needs. “OARS” stands for Open-ended questions, Affirming, Reflective listening, and Summarizing. Using OARS techniques, which support Key Driver 5: Engage with patients and families in evidence-based care and quality improvement, can help practices respond to diverse patients in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner.

Institution of origin: Family Planning National Training Center

Acknowledgements: Source: Miller, W.R., Rollnick, S., Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd Edition. New York: The Guiford Press, 2013.

Family Planning National Training Center is supported by the Office of Population Affairs of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Publication date: May 2016

Page last reviewed November 2018
Page originally created October 2018
Internet Citation: Building Rapport with Patients: OARS Communication Skills. Content last reviewed November 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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