Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Challenging and delicate communication in the Gender Identity Clinic
Author: McPhillips, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 3644
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Working at the intersection of medical sociology and the psychology of health, language and communication, in this PhD I use thematic analysis (TA) and conversation analysis (CA) to provide an insight into various aspects of doctor-patient communication that may be considered, or are constructed as, challenging and/or delicate for either the patient, doctor or both at a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in the UK. This project involves the secondary analysis of two existing data-sets: (i) 21 recorded telephone interviews between my PhD supervisor and transsexual patients who attended the GIC; (ii) 156 transcribed audio-recordings and 38 video-recordings (total = 194) of psychiatrist-patient consultations in the GIC. The first original research paper uses TA to investigate the views and experiences of transsexual patients regarding their communication with psychiatrists at the GIC. An important finding was that patients actually appreciated being challenged in this setting, subsequently the implications of this are considered with regards to the achievability and desirability of patient centred communication. The second research paper uses CA to consider how patients overtly challenge psychiatrists in the GIC in ways that have not been shown in conversation analytic research on medical interactions to date. Analysis of the data corpus revealed that there were three common ways in which patients challenged psychiatrists at the GIC, which are (1) by problematising their questions; (2) by disagreeing with statements that are made regarding their treatment; (3) and by initiating complaints. The findings of this study are considered in relation to the implications that they have for clinicians and for the persistence and desirability of asymmetry in clinical interaction in light of the current debates surrounding the concept of patient-centeredness. The final research paper also uses CA, in this instance to study how the topic of weight, which is often constructed and orientated towards as delicate in talk-in-interaction, is occasioned and discussed by psychiatrists and patients at the GIC. Whereas previous CA research on this topic has focused on how this is constructed by speakers as a moral issue, this paper is concerned with focusing on how psychiatrists (1) establish with patients that their weight is an issue, (2) encourage patients to lose weight by informing them that this is their responsibility and (3) offer advice on the behavior changes associated with weight loss. The results of this paper are discussed with regards to the implications that they have for clinicians who discuss the potentially delicate topic of weight with patients in a number of different settings. This project contributes towards the growing debates regarding the achievability and desirability of patient centred communication and the persistence of asymmetry in clinical interaction. It also contributes to medical conversation analytic literature to date on asymmetry and talk about weight in clinical interactions.
Supervisor: Speer, Susan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Doctor-patient communication ; Conversation analysis ; Psychiatry ; Transsexual ; Patient-centred care