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Re-conceptualizing interruptions in physician-patient interview: Co-operative and intrusive
Unformatted Document Text:  Interruption Patterns 22 asking sometimes requires patients to interrupt physicians, and this can be a daunting task since physicians have authority over patients (e.g., Li, Fish, & Zhou, 1999; Meeuwesen et al., 1991; West, 1984). Can patients be trained to interrupt their physicians skilfully and successfully? This is a new challenge to patient training. Physician and Patient Demographic Variables and Interruption patterns It was found that physicians tended to treat more educated patients differently than less educated patients. Physicians held longer interviews with more educated patients than less educated patients and physicians tended to interrupt the former more intrusively than latter. Nevertheless, there was no evidence that better educated patients interrupted their physicians differently from less educated patients. A possible explanation of this finding is that physicians paid more attention to more educated patients but nevertheless exercised control over the conversation by intrusively interrupting them. Sicker patients behaved differently from healthier patients and they were also treated differently from healthier patients by their physicians. Sicker patients interrupted more intrusively and with less success than healthier patients. However physicians treated them better: Physicians were less likely to interrupt sicker patients intrusively than healthier patients. In general, patients who interrupted more intrusively tended to be less successful interrupters. The message is that physicians didn’t like to be intrusively interrupted. When physicians were interrupted intrusively, they made sure that patients didn’t succeed. The data also showed that the longer physicians were in their practise, the better they enjoyed their profession. Older physicians tended to hold longer interviews with their patients than younger physicians. Finally, the authors would like to remind the reader to use caution in generalizing the

Authors: Li, Han., Krysko, Michael., Desroches, Naghmeh. and Deagle, George.
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Interruption Patterns
22
asking sometimes requires patients to interrupt physicians, and this can be a daunting task since
physicians have authority over patients (e.g., Li, Fish, & Zhou, 1999; Meeuwesen et al., 1991;
West, 1984). Can patients be trained to interrupt their physicians skilfully and successfully? This
is a new challenge to patient training.
Physician and Patient Demographic Variables and Interruption patterns
It was found that physicians tended to treat more educated patients differently than less
educated patients. Physicians held longer interviews with more educated patients than less
educated patients and physicians tended to interrupt the former more intrusively than latter.
Nevertheless, there was no evidence that better educated patients interrupted their physicians
differently from less educated patients. A possible explanation of this finding is that physicians
paid more attention to more educated patients but nevertheless exercised control over the
conversation by intrusively interrupting them.
Sicker patients behaved differently from healthier patients and they were also treated
differently from healthier patients by their physicians. Sicker patients interrupted more
intrusively and with less success than healthier patients. However physicians treated them better:
Physicians were less likely to interrupt sicker patients intrusively than healthier patients. In
general, patients who interrupted more intrusively tended to be less successful interrupters. The
message is that physicians didn’t like to be intrusively interrupted. When physicians were
interrupted intrusively, they made sure that patients didn’t succeed.
The data also showed that the longer physicians were in their practise, the better they
enjoyed their profession. Older physicians tended to hold longer interviews with their patients
than younger physicians.
Finally, the authors would like to remind the reader to use caution in generalizing the


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