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Re-conceptualizing interruptions in physician-patient interview: Co-operative and intrusive
Unformatted Document Text:  Interruption Patterns 2 Abstract Results of past research on physician-patient interruption present an inconclusive picture. This study re-conceptualizes interruption into co-operative and intrusive categories. Thirty physician-patient interviews, 13 male/male and 17 male/female, were audio-taped and micro- analyzed. It was found that physicians did not interrupt patients more or vice versa. Rather, physicians and patients interrupted differently, the former more intrusively and the latter, more co-operatively. Furthermore, physicians did not dominate speaking turns nor speak more words than patients, as previously believed. We argue that their difference may not be measured by the number of words or speaking turns because it is imbedded in their respective communication style. It was also found that female patients exhibited eleven times as much co-operative interruptions as did male patients. When physicians interrupted patients, they were unsuccessful only 6% of the time. When patients interrupted physicians, they were unsuccessful 32% of the time. This pattern points out a novel challenge for training--teaching patients the skill of interrupting physicians successfully.

Authors: Li, Han., Krysko, Michael., Desroches, Naghmeh. and Deagle, George.
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Interruption Patterns
2
Abstract
Results of past research on physician-patient interruption present an inconclusive picture.
This study re-conceptualizes interruption into co-operative and intrusive categories. Thirty
physician-patient interviews, 13 male/male and 17 male/female, were audio-taped and micro-
analyzed. It was found that physicians did not interrupt patients more or vice versa. Rather,
physicians and patients interrupted differently, the former more intrusively and the latter, more
co-operatively. Furthermore, physicians did not dominate speaking turns nor speak more words
than patients, as previously believed. We argue that their difference may not be measured by the
number of words or speaking turns because it is imbedded in their respective communication
style. It was also found that female patients exhibited eleven times as much co-operative
interruptions as did male patients. When physicians interrupted patients, they were unsuccessful
only 6% of the time. When patients interrupted physicians, they were unsuccessful 32% of the
time. This pattern points out a novel challenge for training--teaching patients the skill of
interrupting physicians successfully.


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