Medical communication can be both a dialogue between expert-to-expert or expert-to-laymen(Cordella, 2004; Bowles, 2006; Candlin, 2006; Maynard and Hudak 2008; Lutfey and Maynard 1998;Heritage 2010; Heritage and Clayman, 2010 among others). In this last exchange, the doctor treats thepatient as an ‘understanding recipient of medical reasoning’ (Peräkylä 1997) and language is simplifiedfor communicative reasons (Koch-Weser et al., 2009). Patients are assumed as having little medicalknowledge, which affects their understanding of medical terms and eventually leads to poorcommunication and to patients’ dissatisfaction (Candlin, Bruton and Leather, 1974; Coulthard andAshby, 1975; Todd and Fisher, 1993; Bertakis, Roter and Putman 1991). However research on data takenfrom online message boards proves that e-patients are comfortable users of a highly specialized medicalterminology and are thus construed as health literates (Jensen, Fage-Butler, 2014).It is questioned whether this new expertise modifies the quality of doctor-patient exchanges in onlinequestion/answer format frames. It is also asked whether doctors are still ‘silent listeners’ (Ribeiro, 2002) andexpert translators of personal emotions and subjective realities (Guido, 2006). In particular the studyinvestigates if e-doctors follow the socio-relational approach or, on the contrary, they use a more directbiomedical approach and if posts maintain the asymmetrical relationship which favours the doctor (likein face-to-face ‘traditional’ exchanges) or if the approach is imposed by the literate e-patient’s question.Analysing data by means of discourse analysis, it is further questioned whether cultural differences arefound in sites directed to Italian speakers and English speakers.
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|