Communication Accommodation and Managing Musculoskeletal Disorders: Doctors' and Patients' Perspectives
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This study examined the ways in which health care providers (general practitioners and specialists) and patients communicate with each other about managing musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders, a major cause of long-term pain and physical disability. In managing their illness, patients must interact closely with health care providers, who play a large role in transferring knowledge to them. In-depth interviews with patients, general practitioners, and specialist rheumatologists in Australia and Canada were analyzed using Leximancer (a text-mining tool). Results indicated that, in their communication, doctors subtly emphasized accepting and adjusting to the illness ("new normal"), whereas patients emphasized pain relief and getting "back to normal." These results suggest that doctors and patients should accommodate in their communication across subtle and often unexpressed differences in the priorities of provider and patient, or they are likely to be at cross purposes and thus less effective.
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