Article | Proceedings of the 4th European and 7th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication (MMSYM 2016), Copenhagen, 29-30 September 2016 | Physicians’ and patients’ use of <em>body-oriented gestures</em> in primary care consultations
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Title:
Physicians’ and patients’ use of body-oriented gestures in primary care consultations
Author:
Jennifer Gerwing: Health Services Research Unit (HØKH), Akershus University Hospital, Norway
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2017
Conference:
Proceedings of the 4th European and 7th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication (MMSYM 2016), Copenhagen, 29-30 September 2016
Issue:
141
Article no.:
012
Pages:
85-93
No. of pages:
9
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2017-09-21
ISBN:
978-91-7685-423-5
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet


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Research on healthcare communication has focused little on the semiotics of gesture in interaction. This paper presents an analysis of how patients and physicians use gestures in actual consultations, focusing specifically on body-oriented gestures (i.e., those in which a part of the body, either through indication or demonstration, plays an integral role in the speaker’s meaning). Two publically-available training DVDs for general practice consultations provided 29 minutes of excerpts from actual patient-physician encounters between nine physicians and twelve patients. All gestures were located. Body-oriented gestures were analysed for their relationship to speech and function in the interactions. Results showed that 104/238 of patients’ gestures and 30/178 of physicians’ gestures were body-oriented. Gesture and speech conveyed complementary information suited to each modality. These gestures served a variety of functions (e.g., establishing mutual understanding, foreshadowing information that would be contributed later, providing cohesion between topics). Just as research on healthcare communication would benefit from further exploration of the semiotics of gesture use, these findings illustrate potential for basic research: healthcare interactions offer a practical arena for investigating how patients and physicians integrate gesture and speech as they discuss consequential topics such as symptom relief, diagnosis, decisions, and treatment plans.

Proceedings of the 4th European and 7th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication (MMSYM 2016), Copenhagen, 29-30 September 2016

Author:
Jennifer Gerwing
Title:
Physicians’ and patients’ use of body-oriented gestures in primary care consultations
References:

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Proceedings of the 4th European and 7th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication (MMSYM 2016), Copenhagen, 29-30 September 2016

Author:
Jennifer Gerwing
Title:
Physicians’ and patients’ use of body-oriented gestures in primary care consultations
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Last updated: 2017-02-21