Objective: To investigate different interactional patterns in presentation of patients' problems depending on whether the presentation is made by patients themselves, or by their accompanying persons. Methods: Routine provider-patient interactions during triage were video-recorded at an academic emergency department in Seoul, Korea. Using the method of conversation analysis, 242 recordings were transcribed and analyzed in terms of the extent of problem presentation and interactional practices used by the presenting party. Results: Problem presentation made by accompanying persons was significantly more extensive than that by patients, in terms of its length and the number of symptoms described. Patients tended to describe physical conditions they directly experience, such as pain, whereas accompanying persons tended to provide patients' conditions they observed as a third party, often with more objective information such as medical history. Conclusion: Compared to patients who simply present their condition(s), accompanying persons may also communicate their reasonableness in seeking emergency care. Practice implications: Providers may utilize more facilitative questioning practices to get a fuller array of concerns when interacting with patients. When accompanying persons present the complaint, providers may acknowledge legitimacy of the visit and ask patients directly to better assess the severity of conditions patients themselves experience.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research for this study was supported in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government ( KRF2009-361-A00027 ). The funding agency supported equipment for video-recording and digitizing, and had no involvement in the design of study, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the report, and decision to submit the paper for publication.
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