Communication & Medicine, Vol 16, No 1 (2019)

Formulating another’s report of troubles in peer support

Christopher Pudlinski
Issued Date: 15 Sep 2020

Abstract


This study stems from an interest in peer support talk, an underexplored area of research, and in how supportive actions such as formulated summaries function in comparison to more professional healthcare settings. Using conversation analysis, this study explores 35 instances of formulations within 65 calls to four different ‘warm lines’, a term for peer-to-peer telephone support within the community mental health system in the United States. Formulations can be characterized across two related axes: client versus professional perspective, and directive versus nondirective. The findings show that formulations within peer support were overwhelmingly nondirective, in terms of meeting institutional agendas to let callers talk. However, formulations ranged from client-oriented ones that highlight or repeat caller reports to those which transform caller reports through integrating past caller experiences or implicit caller emotions. These tactics are found to have similarities to how formulations function in professional healthcare settings.

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.41613

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