An exploration of language used to negotiate treatments and adherence within medical consultations for those with type 2 diabetes

  • Josie Corrina Goodby

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


Type two diabetes is a chronic condition which relies on the success of individual’s self-management to adhere to recommendations. Psycho-social factors and communication are influential factors in shaping individuals’ behaviours and health-related decisions. Education is recommended to engage patients with their care. However, interventions are unsustainable, meaning more effective strategies are needed to engage individuals over time. Along with the progression of diabetes, patients’ care needs and perceptions also change, meaning communication plays a crucial role in the way health beliefs are developed.

This study aims to add to the understanding of how perceptions of adherence are constructed in medical consultations by focusing on the linguistic enactment of the consultation, and how the form and function of questions posed within the medical encounter are employed to communicate recommendations.

Seven individuals with type two diabetes medical consultations and semi-structured interviews were audio recorded and analysed using an interactional sociolinguistically informed perspective. Participants attended an outpatient clinic for the first time, enabling the researcher to capture their initial contact with the consultant, the analysis focused on data obtained from medical consultations, which revealed a typology of questions that emerged throughout different phases of the consultation. Adherence was negotiated throughout the interaction as participants used various forms of questions to achieve their linguistic goals. Similar typologies of questions emerged throughout all datasets, however patients and participants used similar questions for different functions. Patients should be presented with opportunities to inform healthcare professionals of their experiences and perceptions to assist the consultant. Implications for education were also identified.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University

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