chapter  3
24 Pages

Patient Health Care: Issues in Interpersonal Communication

The interpersonal communication occurring between the providers and receivers of health care has been a focus of dissatisfaction for both dyad members for some time (e.g., Bird, 1955). As a result, the communication characterizing this dyad has also been a topic of considerable research. The research has been conducted by medical professionals as well as by investigators in most of the social sciences. Because a variety of disciplines have been represented, many ofthe researchers have been unaware of other research relevant to their own and have not incorporated or built upon the foundation provided by this other research. Because one of the bases of science is the cumulative development of knowledge (Kaplan, 1964), research that does not build upon previous information results in much duplication of effort and slows the scientific process. An overview of health communication research indicates that much of the available corpus does, indeed, ignore earlier research on similar concerns published in other disciplines (Thompson, 1984). Therefore, this chapter integrates and synthesizes this literature to provide a basis upon which future researchers may build.