“Let’s Examine Your Abdominal Region”: A Conversation Analytical Study Of Doctor-Patient Communication
In medical care, lack of communication is such a crucial subject which may result in unintended but severe consequences. Employing the theoretical framework proposed by Brown and Levinson (1987), this study was conducted to find out whether or not there are differences in the use and number of the politeness strategies employed in the doctor-patient communication. The effect of three contextual variables, that is, power, age and gender were also studied to contribute to our understanding of the concept of verbal politeness. Through observation and audio recordings of 31 patients (16 female and 15 male) who are categorized as younger or older than the doctor, one doctor’s conversation was analyzed within the context of five politeness strategies and politeness/solidarity criterion in a radio-diagnostic clinic. The study affirms that the doctor uses ‘Bald on Record’ strategy with both male and female patients. However, in the category of female older patients ‘Negative Politeness’ are recorded while Positive Politeness’ strategies are observed with female younger patients. As a whole, employed strategies from most direct to indirect ranged in parallel with the factors of age and gender. Moreover, the results have shown that except for the group of younger females, the doctor prefers an attitude of solidarity with all patients.
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