Communication in open disclosure conversations about adverse events in hospitals

Bernadette Maria Watson, Daniel Angus, Lyndsey Gore, Jillann Farmer

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed eight interactions between clinicians and simulated patients or family members discussing adverse events in patient care. We targeted the interactants' accommodative communication strategies when they discussed the consequent patient harm. In Study 1, 80 psychology students rated eight open disclosure video recordings for the presence of CAT strategies. In the recordings categorized as effective, clinicians demonstrated accommodative emotional expression and interactants engaged in more accommodative interpretability and interpersonal control strategies than in ineffective recordings. In Study 2, the same recordings were analyzed using Discursis (a textual analysis software program). Discursis uses new technology to visualize and identify speaker approximation. Approximation patterns correlated with findings from Study 1. Results provide insights into which CAT strategies assist managing open disclosure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalLanguage and Communication
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse events
  • Discourse
  • Health
  • Open disclosure
  • Text analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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