Publication details [#4204]

Döring, Martin, Ulrike Metz, Dorina Ferrario and Christoph Heintze. 2009. „Der Kampf mit den Pfunden“: Zur Relevanz von Metaphern im Wissenstransfer zwischen Arzt und Patient. 16 : 109–130. 22 pp. URL


Counselling is the general practitioner’s (GP) “daily bread”: He or she has to evaluate risk factors, assess the treatment of possible illnesses and/or negotiate lifestyle changes with the patient. The present paper investigates from an interdisciplinary perspective the use of metaphor as a framing device for the creation of understanding and knowledge in GP-patient interaction. 52 cardiovascular health check consultations with overweight patients in 12 doctor’s surgeries in Berlin were taped and transcribed out of which 12 were randomly chosen for analysis. The metaphors found were categorised according to the cognitive theory of metaphor (Lakoff/Johnson 1980) and assigned to significant metaphorical concepts. The analysis displays a high degree of conventional metaphors and metaphorical concepts such as WEIGHT REDUCTION IS A WAY or WEIGHT REDUCTION IS A FIGHT. The results clearly underline the relevance of metaphor for the understanding and consolidation of GP-patient interaction which can constructively used to find “a way out of the impasse” of overweight. (Martin Döring, Ulrike Metz, Dorina Ferrario and Christoph Heintze)