Differences between the groups in their conceptions of rheumatism were found; regarding aspects as manifestations and symptoms; seriousness; causes; and consequences. Naturally; the descriptions reflected experience and knowledge of rheumatism in the different groups of informants. The physicians had the most well-structured; knowledgeable and general conceptions; while the healthy group had less developed notions. The rheumatic persons were in between; closer to the physicians; and had explicit conceptions of rheumatism; in which their own situation was emphasised. In their descriptions all informants made abundant use of linguistic hedges and the like; the healthy informant group being the vaguest one in their formulations.
A clear pattern for all informants is to interpret an encountered phenomenon; here rheumatism; in relation to their experiences and realities; transferring it into a concrete and real context; in order to understand it.
Knowledge of differences in descriptions; conceptions and perspectives of participants with differing backgrounds may contribute to a better understanding of how such aspects and dissimilarities effect communication.