Physicians' verbal immediacy as a mediator of patients' understanding and satisfaction.
AuthorParrott, Roxanne Louise.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines specific speech forms that comprise physicians' language use, and motives for use. A coding system combining work on verbal immediacy and conversational involvement was used to assess the language of 19 physicians during 58 videotaped interactions with patients. Physicians were found to use more nonimmediate than immediate speech. Information-giving was positively related to use of nonimmediate speech. Use of implicit nonimmediacy was positively related to physicians' perceptions of the medical community's consensus regarding a patient's condition and recommendations for treatment. Experience was positively related to use of spatial nonimmediacy and automatic phrases. Gender and experience interact to predict use of temporal, implicit, and qualified nonimmediacy. Inexperienced males used the least of these forms of speech, while experienced males used the most. No relationship was found between use of nonimmediate speech and patients' understanding, satisfaction, or met expectations. Implicit nonimmediacy was directly related to patients' behavioral intent to comply. Findings are reviewed for implications to both Communication and Medicine.