Communication & Medicine, Vol 12, No 1 (2015)

Talking about paranoid experiences: Interactional dynamics of accomplishing disclosure of psychotic symptoms in triadic conversation

Pertti Olavi Hella, Jussi Niemi, Jani-Matti Tirkkonen, Jukka Hintikka, Hannu Koponen, Heli Koivumaa-Honkanen
Issued Date: 7 Jun 2016


The present study is the first to investigate, using conversation analysis, the effects of a family member’s participation in conversation regarding the assessment of need for treatment. We aim at describing the course of a treatment negotiation, focusing on interactional dynamics and on disclosure of paranoid symptoms in a clinically challenging situation characterized by an acutely psychotic patient with (1) disorganized discourse, (2) poor insight, (3) aspiration to avoid hospital treatment, and (4) a relative who was supporting in-patient care. In the triadic conversation, in which the patient, his relative, and the psychiatrist participated, different consecutive phases were distinguished. The Relative Prominent Information Phase (RIP) was characterized by the relative’s statements on the patient’s problematic behavior, and conflicting views between the patient and his relative led to denial of symptoms by the patient. When the patient was prominent in the latter Patient Prominent Information Phase (PIP), the display of several different social actions and corresponding linguistic devices were linked with more overt talk about paranoid experiences by the patient, albeit in a disorganized manner. RIP and PIP were followed by an Evaluation and Decision Phase (EDP).

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.v12i1.20214


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