Medical interviews in internal medicine:Some results of an empirical investigation

Hein, Norbert and Wodak, Ruth (1987) Medical interviews in internal medicine:Some results of an empirical investigation. Text, 7 (1). pp. 37-66. ISSN 0165-4888

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This paper presents some results of an empirical investigation that was carried out during 1984–85 in various institutions of the Austrian Health Services. Fifty-one medical interviews were tape-recorded and evaluated by a multimethod procedure which allowed for qualitative and quantitative aspects of the evaluation. The theoretical considerations of the study are based on the socio-psychological theory of text planning (Wodak, 1984; 1986) and the notion of the frame-conflict’ (Fisher and Todd, 1983). Consequently, we based our considerations in this investigation on the supposition that actual speech-barriers, frame conflict and speaker strategies acquired during socialization, strategies of text production and text comprehension would determine the doctor-patient discourse. The analysis of the patient's interviews produced one focal point, their strong desire for a personal relationship between them and the attending doctor. In the interviews with doctors, it is interesting to note a tendency towards sex-specific differences in their attitude towards the patients: for women the relationship to the patient is of primary importance, while men seem to consider the tangible information to be the main aim. The influence of the institution where doctors and patients meet can be characterized briefly as follows: patients in hospitals were less successful in verbalizing feelings than patients in doctor's surgeries although the medical interview in hospital took up much more time. Self and other assessments, as measured by the 'Gieβen-Test’ were taken into account, as was a possible influence of the patient's sex. The patient's affiliation to a social class and his education proved to be of great influence on his/her verbal behavior during the medical interview. Also their age was correlated with certain linguistic parameters.

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Funding Information: We herewith thank the Österreichisches Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, who financed this investigation. Mag. Susanne Bock translated our paper into English. Also, we want to thank Dr. Michael Agar who corrected our English and gave important comments. The project was carried out by Ruth Wodak, phD, füll professor, Peter Nowak,M.A.,Johanna Lalouschek, M.A. and Norbert Hein, M.A. Dr. Ulrike Hoffman-Richter, a medical doctor, was very helpful in analysis and Interpretation. Beckmann, D. and Richter, H.E. (1975). Let us cite the deflnition from Bliesener (1982: 58) himself: Ein Zug soll dann Initiative' heißen, wenn die folgenden Merkmale gegeben sind: 1. Spontanität (spontaneity): Der Zug erfüllt nicht ausschließlich eine Verpflich-
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25 Jul 2023 12:40
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