Managing Communication: Appropriate Behaviour in Medical Consultations

Diane GIBSON, Paul Boreham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction process between doctors and their patients represents a relatively infrequently explored strand of medical sociology. This paper is primarily concerned with one aspect of the attitudes and expectations which both doctors and patients bring to their interaction—the role which the patient is expected to play in the medical consultation. The data provide a detailed picture of the sorts of things which it was felt that patients should and should not do. Furthermore, the data indicate a high degree of overlap between doctors' and patients' views on what characteristics are representative of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ patients. Finally, some consideration is given to the implications of what is seen to be ‘appropriate’ behaviour in medical consultations for broader health care outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1981


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