Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Vol 10, No 2 (2013)

Creating supportive relationships: A study on call center discursive interactions between cancer patients and healthcare personnel

Amelia Manuti, Caterina Arcidiacono, Marina Esposito, Giuseppe Mininni
Issued Date: 2 May 2017


Good communication between patients, families and healthcare personnel has been shown to have beneficial effects on patient compliance and satisfaction, and to influence health outcomes. The present study uses a dedicated call center for patients undergoing home based chemotherapeutic treatments to examine the communicative relationship between patients and healthcare personnel and to address the specific rhetorical patterns used by the interlocutors to make sense of the healthcare relationship and to shape the context of talk. Diatextual analysis was applied to 54 telephone interactions between patients and medical operators to investigate the nexus between identity, texts, and context of talk, and the results highlight some specific peculiarities of the dynamics of healthcare provisions and requirements. The analysis of the enunciative profiles of patients and healthcare personnel showed that a call center can be an efficient means of providing healthcare service as long as it succeeds in keeping together the individual and collective stances that through discourse substantiate different interpretative repertoires of healthcare experience.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.32692


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