Achieving shared understanding in chronic care interactions: the role of caregivers

Sarah Francesca Maria Bigi*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Purpose: Within the context of a research program on the most relevant discourse types in chronic care medical encounters, this contribution reports on a qualitative study on the role caregivers play within the process of shared understanding occurring between health-care professionals and elderly patients. The purpose of the paper is to highlight one dimension of such complexity, by bringing to light the challenges connected to the achievement of shared understanding between health-care professionals and elderly patients when caregivers are involved in the conversation. Design/methodology/approach: The paper reports on a two-step analysis of a corpus of transcripts of interactions in diabetes and hypertension settings. In the first step, caregivers’ contributions to deliberative sequences have been analyzed. In the second step, the analysis was extended to caregivers’ contributions to the whole encounter. Findings: The results show that professionals’ ability to engage caregivers in deliberations during the encounter and, more generally, to assign a role to caregivers as legitimate participants in the consultation may favor the smooth development of the interaction and an effective process of shared understanding among all participants. Originality/value: The paper further develops original research about the functions of the argumentative component in dialogues occurring in clinical settings.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)245-252
Numero di pagine8
RivistaWorking with Older People
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Activity types
  • Caregivers
  • Decision-making
  • Deliberation
  • Discourse types
  • Doctor-patient interactions
  • Elderly patients


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