Communication between hospital doctors: Underaccommodation and interpretability

David G. Hewett, Bernadette Maria Watson, Cindy Gallois

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We examined underaccommodation in hospital medical charts, with a focus on interpretability. In Study 1147 hospital doctors completed a questionnaire including interpretations of chart entries from their own or another specialty. Study 2 used interviews with 10 doctors to explore interpretations of the same charts and perceptions of the writers. Results indicated that participants interpreted entries by ingroup doctors more accurately than outgroup ones. Interview findings indicated that doctors made excuses for their peers and cast patients as an outgroup. Results indicate that underaccommodation leads to lack of comprehension, which is generally excused by readers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage and Communication
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Health communication
  • Inter-professional communication
  • Interpretability
  • Underaccommodation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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