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Gendered communicative construction of patients in consultation settings

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • Joel Hedegaard
  • Helene Ahl
  • Airi Rovio-Johansson
  • Eleni Siouta
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Women & health
Issue number6
Volume54
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)513-529
Publication statusPublished
Early online date25/06/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the communication in consultations between patients and health care staff from a gender perspective. We used 23 tape-recorded consultations between patients with Atrial Fibrillation and 5 nurses and 5 physicians at cardiac outpatient clinics at 6 different hospitals in southern Sweden during autumn 2009 to explore the verbal gendered constructions of patients. Through critical discourse analysis, we revealed that the male patients tended to describe their ailments with performance-oriented statements, whereas the female patients usually used emotional-oriented statements. The staff downplayed the male patients' questions and statements, while they acknowledged concern toward the female patients. Both the patients and the staff made conclusions according to a mutual construction. Male patients were constructed as competent, and female patients as fragile through gender-stereotypical communication. Open-ended statements and questions enabled consultations to be less limited by gender stereotypes.