chapter  15
14 Pages

The Management of Mrs. Suzuki's Miscarriage: Communication and Social Relationships in Japan Susan Orpett Long

As in all social settings, communication about health and illness, and interaction within medical care institutions, depend on the symbols and concepts of the participants. These, however, are not universal. Doctors and patients do not share the same vocabulary of medical terms, which influences the ways in which the various participants in a medical encounter perceive health, illness, symptoms, and their responsibilities regarding the sick person. This, in turn, can encourage or impede communication. The quality of communication in a medical encounter may impact such behaviors as compliance with the doctor's treatment and future health-seeking behavior, and may alter the participant's perception of the illness.