Conversation Analysis

4. CA and the Medical Encounter

Exercise 3

Determine whether each of the statements below is True or False.

Statement 1: It is important for people studying the doctor-patient relationship to understand interactional practices that are normal for ordinary conversation.
Statement 2: The question "How are you feeling?" is more appropriate in an acute care primary care visit.
Statement 3: The significance of the fact that patients normally do not acknowledge the presentation of diagnoses, but do acknowledge the presentation of treatment plans means that they can passively withhold assent to treatment by saying nothing.

Answers:

Statement 1: It is important for people studying the doctor-patient relationship to understand interactional practices that are normal for ordinary conversation.
True: It is important because these practices inform clinical interactions just as much as they do everyday ones.

Statement 2: The question "How are you feeling?" is more appropriate in an acute care primary care visit.
False. It is more appropriate in a follow up visit because the question invokes (and presumes) an ongoing health problem (and does so in everyday conversations as well as clinical ones).

Statement 3: The significance of the fact that patients normally do not acknowledge the presentation of diagnoses, but do acknowledge the presentation of treatment plans means that they can passively withhold assent to treatment by saying nothing.
True. If patients wish to resist a treatment plan, they can do so 'passively' by withholding assent. This can influence clinicians to engage in further explanations or even to revise the treatment plan. By contrast, if patients wish to resist a diagnosis, this can only be done by explicitly questioning it.