A Review of Doctor-Patient Communication Studies

Xiaowei ZHANG, Zhanfang LI


The constant rising number of violent events between doctors and patients has drawn great attention from researchers in different fields. Communication is the most fundamental way to solve the problem. The paper makes a brief review of the studies on doctor-patient communication during the past twenty years. It focuses on the features of doctor-patient communication, the reasons for the poor communication, the solutions to the problems and the future research tendencies. The paper gives consideration of the four aspects from the two following aspects, medical and linguistics. The current feature of doctor-patient communication is inconsistent, following the traditional liner model. The main reasons for the problem are the power discrepancy and the inappropriate attitude held by doctors. To handle the situation, measures like adjusting address terms have been proposed. Further research tendencies are also given in the paper, such as building up a communicative model. 


Doctor-patient communication; Power discrepancy; Contextual variables; Speech community; Medical jargons

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11686


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