Research Repository

‘Any questions?’—Clinicians’ usage of invitations to ask questions (IAQs) in outpatient plastic surgery consultations

Bristowe, Katherine and Patrick, Peter L (2014) '‘Any questions?’—Clinicians’ usage of invitations to ask questions (IAQs) in outpatient plastic surgery consultations.' Patient Education and Counseling, 97 (3). pp. 347-351. ISSN 0738-3991

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Objective: To explore use of 'Invitations to Ask Questions' (IAQs) by plastic surgeons in outpatient consultations, and consider how type of IAQ impacts on patients' responses to, and recollection of, IAQs. Methods: Descriptive study: 63 patients were audio recorded in consultation with 5 plastic surgeons, and completed a brief questionnaire immediately after the consultation. Consultation transcripts were analyzed using inductive qualitative methods of Discourse Analysis and compared with questionnaire findings. Results: A taxonomy of IAQs was developed, including three types of IAQ (Overt, Covert, and Borderline). Overt IAQs were rarely identified, and almost all IAQs occurred in the closing stages of the consultation. However, when an overt IAQ was used, patients always recollected being asked if they had any questions after the consultation. Conclusions: Patients are rarely explicitly offered the opportunity to ask questions. When this does occur, it is often in the closing stages of the consultation. Clinicians should openly encourage patients to ask questions frequently throughout the consultation, and be mindful that subtle differences in construction of these utterances may impact upon interpretation. Practice implications: Clear communication, of message and intention, is essential in clinical encounters to minimize misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or missed opportunities for patients to raise concerns.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Clinician-patient interaction; Patient integration; Question use; Outpatient interactions
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2014 10:13
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:30

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