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Soc Sci Med. 1986;22(10):1027-34.

Frames and heuristics in doctor-patient discourse.


The medical interview can be viewed as a verbal exchange between two people trying to solve a problem. Research in linguistics and cognitive psychology casts interesting and useful light on such discourse. Using the concepts 'frames' and 'heuristics' from these fields, we viewed, transcribed and analyzed taped sessions between a family practice physician and sixteen patients to examine how those patients understood their illness. To be an effective teacher the physician must discover not only the causes of the patient's medical problem, but also something of the conceptual structure that supports the patient's perceptions and understanding of his problem. This paper presents a method to understand these conceptual structures and how they function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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