Empathetic Consultation Skills in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Qualitative Approach.

Marsden, Alex (2014) Empathetic Consultation Skills in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Qualitative Approach. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The practice of medicine involves caring for patients on many levels, which range from the scientific inquiry and administration of treatment, to the interaction and
communication that occurs in consultations. The requisite for care in medical practice has been widely documented, and the role of empathy is acknowledged and recognised in this process; however, it is often difficult to express in a
communicative framework. Previous research has tended to focus on measuring empathy, with little consideration given to how empathy is realised within interaction. Where attempts have been made to document these communicative acts, deductive approaches have generally been prevalent.

This thesis reports on an inductive approach used to explore how empathy is perceived to be expressed in undergraduate medical education. The methodology used consisted of two phases. The first phase is described as a quasi-grounded theory approach, which utilised member coding in the categorisation of empathetic strategies. The second phase adopted tools from the field of sociolinguistics, and examined the categories derived from the first phase to build toward a paradigm of interactional empathy in medical consultations.

Three primary findings arose from the data. Two of these were sociolinguistic in
nature, and related to the elicitation of patient experiences, and the initiation of empathetic opportunities in the consultation. The other main finding concerned the
administrative aspect of empathy, and how this can be vital to the establishment and preservation of an empathetic ethos throughout the healthcare process. The results
augment and support the current methods of teaching at the University of East Anglia via the Calgary-Cambridge guide, and reflect empathy as an integrative practice rather than an individual skill in medical communication.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Oriana Donlevy
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2014 13:15
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 13:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/49603
DOI:

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