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Title: Elucidating the dimensions of communication and the role of culture in an Austrian medical setting
Author: Saurwein, Leena
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 4343
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2020
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This piece of research has been conducted with women immigrants and general practitioners to understand their perceptions and experiences in their medical encounter in the Tyrol, Austria. It aims to explore and understand the communication process between women immigrants and general practitioners and to elucidate to what extent culture plays a role in this process. It also examines the views of both participants involved in a medical consultation. Based on the paradigm of social constructionism and phenomenological concepts, a qualitative approach has been taken where 21 semi-structured interviews have been conducted in English and German. The data generated have been categorised and coded using the Thematic Analysis Process. The results highlight that interactional, structural, temporal, procedural and relational differences influence and at times exacerbate the communication practices, despite endeavours of both groups to establish a smooth and effective interaction. The conceptualised doctor-patient consultation framework illustrates the role of cultural resources in the communication process and the impact of small culture on the internal and external outcome. Finally, all the dimensions that influence the communication process result in patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction impacting patient compliance. The selected women immigrants speak English or German fluently, are well educated and work in qualified professions, the doctors are predominantly located in the provincial capital Innsbruck. Thus, this aspect limits the generalisation of these findings. This first of its kind research in this region involving both doctors and patients as well as the patients constitute a diverse population irrespective of their ethnic or national background. This study gives a holistic picture of the small culture formed in a medical setting and facilitates in understanding the way culture is defined, constructed and negotiated through the medical communication practices. Finally, it serves as a basis to understand a consultation better and for further research in this region.
Supervisor: Ensor, John ; Mabel, Victoria ; Fischer, Mary Sponsor: Edinburgh Napier University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: women immigrants ; general practitioners ; medical care ; communication ; culture ; medical consultations