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ERIC Number: EJ855025
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
"You Know Doctor, I Need to Tell You Something": A Discourse Analytical Study of Patients' Voices in the Medical Consultation
Cordella, Marisa
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v27 n2 p92-109 2004
Most studies in the area of doctor-patient communication focus on the talk that doctors perform during the consultation, leaving under-researched the discourse developed by patients. This article deconstructs and identifies the functions and forms of the voices (i.e. specific forms of talk) that Chilean patients employ in their interactions with general practitioners. Patients use four different voices in the interaction: "Health-related Storytelling", "Competence", "Social Communicator" and "Initiator". "Health-related Storytelling" and "Competence" are the "voices" most frequently used by both female and male patients and constitute the object of analysis and interpretation for this study. The use of these voices reflects the patients' role in the Western medical institutions, knowledge about health issues, social identity and aspiration to better understand health problems. I conclude that medical communicative practices that favour the development of patients' discourse can improve patients' knowledge of medical issues which in turn may have a positive impact on patients' health. (Contains 4 notes.)
Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. Available from: Monash University ePress. Building 4, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia. Fax: +61-3-9905 8450; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Chile