Patient-centred communication in Ask-the-expert healthcare websites

Pounds, Gabrina (2018) Patient-centred communication in Ask-the-expert healthcare websites. Applied Linguistics, 39 (2). 117–134. ISSN 1477-450X

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The study presented in this article explores to what extent and in what ways the communication between clinicians and patients on Ask-the-Expert healthcare websites is patient-centred. It further demonstrates the value of using a theory- and text-driven discourse analytical approach for the analysis of verbal communication in a (specific health) professional domain. The UK website Netdoctor is used as a case study. Thirty exchanges from this site, on the topic of depression, were analysed using a discourse-pragmatic framework, drawing on existing theories and definitions of patient-centred communication (PCC), a classification of empathic communication acts (Pounds 2011) and existing research on advice-giving in online communication. The analysis shows that, overall, experts make wide use of PCC, particularly empathic expression, in their online responses. The author concludes that there is a high potential for the expression of PCC on Ask-the-Expert health sites and that this may be more or less exploited, depending on the restrictions imposed on the contributors by the site managers and users’ expectations

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: patient-centred communication,empathy,advice,ask-the-expert healthcare websites,online medical consultation,depression
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Language and Communication Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 12:00
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:40
DOI: 10.1093/applin/amv073


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