Article published in:Communicating Certainty and Uncertainty in Medical, Supportive and Scientific Contexts
Edited by Andrzej Zuczkowski, Ramona Bongelli, Ilaria Riccioni and Carla Canestrari
[Dialogue Studies 25] 2014
► pp. 157–181
The journey to advice
Balancing certainty and uncertainty in doctor delivery of expert opinion
The paper deals with the formulation of advice delivered by the doctor in routine gynecological consultations with pregnant patients. We analyze episodes in which the patients solicit advice for a number of concerns related to their health and overall life habits during their pregnancy. We show how the doctor’s formulation of the advice is sequentially elaborated through rounds and how it changes from its initial delivery to the final formulation. In these rounds, we show that the doctor’s advice may progressively lose certainty and coherence, encountering changes from its initial delivery to the final formulation. This is sequentially dealt as a strategic resource to adjust to the patient’s expression of resistance and to solicit her to choose the preferred course of action.
Published online: 26 November 2014
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