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Erschienen in: Annals of Behavioral Medicine 5/2016

11.03.2016 | Original Article

Characteristics and Correlates of Word Use in Physician-Patient Communication

verfasst von: MA Angelica Falkenstein, BA Brandon Tran, MD Daniel Ludi, MD Afshin Molkara, MD Henry Nguyen, MD Arnold Tabuenca, PhD Kate Sweeny

Erschienen in: Annals of Behavioral Medicine | Ausgabe 5/2016

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Abstract

Background

Numerous studies have described and evaluated communication in healthcare contexts, but these studies have focused on broad content and complex units of behavior. Growing evidence reveals the predictive power and importance of precise linguistic characteristics of communication.

Purpose

This study aims to document characteristics, predictors, and correlates of word use within specific linguistic categories by physicians and patients during a healthcare visit.

Methods

Conversations between patients (n = 145) and their physician (n = 6) were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Linguistic Inquiry Word Count software. Patients also completed questionnaires prior to and immediately following the visit and (for a subset of patients) at a follow-up visit, which assessed patients’ demographics, how much they liked the physician, and self-reported adherence. Physicians completed a questionnaire following the initial visit that assessed the patient’s health status, the physician’s optimism regarding the upcoming treatment, and satisfaction with the productivity of the visit.

Results

Patients and physicians differed in the extent of their word use in key linguistic categories, while also maintaining significant linguistic synchrony. Demographic characteristics and health status predicted variability in patients’ and physicians’ word use, and word use predicted key visit outcomes. Most notably, patients liked their physician more when physicians used fewer negative emotion words and were less adherent when physicians used more singular first-person pronouns.

Conclusions

These findings reveal patterns in the way physicians speak to patients who vary in their demographic characteristics and health status and point to potentially fruitful targets for linguistic interventions with both physicians and patients.
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Metadaten
Titel
Characteristics and Correlates of Word Use in Physician-Patient Communication
verfasst von
MA Angelica Falkenstein
BA Brandon Tran
MD Daniel Ludi
MD Afshin Molkara
MD Henry Nguyen
MD Arnold Tabuenca
PhD Kate Sweeny
Publikationsdatum
11.03.2016
Verlag
Springer US
Erschienen in
Annals of Behavioral Medicine / Ausgabe 5/2016
Print ISSN: 0883-6612
Elektronische ISSN: 1532-4796
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-016-9792-x