Nurturing Communication by Health Professionals Toward Patients: A Communication Accommodation Theory Approach

Bernadette Maria Watson, Cynthia Gallois

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the role of nurturing communication in distinguishing interpersonal and intergroup interactions between health professionals and patients, from the perspective of communication accommodation theory (CAT). Participants (47 men and 87 women) rated videotapes of actual hospital consultations on 12 goal and 16 strategy items derived from CAT. Health professionals in interpersonal interactions were perceived to pay more attention to relationship and emotional needs and to use more nurturant discourse management and emotional expression. These results point the way toward elucidating the perceived optimal balance in accommodative behavior, both group based and interpersonal, in these contexts, and they highlight the importance of nurturant communication to this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-355
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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