Patient participation in action: Patients' interactional initiatives during interdisciplinary goal-setting meetings in a rehabilitation clinic

Sara Keel, Veronika Schoeb Mezzanotte Amat

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical guidelines require the patient's participation in the entire rehabilitation process, including discharge planning. However, very little is known about how this institutional requirement is actually dealt with in everyday clinical practice. Adopting a conversation analytic approach, our paper tackles the matter, looking at situations in which patients achieve interactional initiatives within interdisciplinary entry meetings (IEMs) at a rehabilitation clinic in German-speaking Switzerland. Based on audio-visual recordings of 11 IEMs, whose central aim is to formulate patients' rehabilitation goals and to plan their discharge, the paper offers a detailed analysis of two conversational environments in which patients accomplish initiatives: incipient disagreement among the interdisciplinary team and difficulties faced by the professionals in moving towards the formulation of a goal. In both situations, the progress of the activity is at stake. Moreover, the analysis reveals the interactive and stepwise accomplishment of patients' initiatives. Our paper argues that shedding light on how patients' initiatives are interactively implemented makes it possible to discuss how issues of epistemic rights and entitlement to participate are locally negotiated. In the final discussion, the paper raises the question of how patients' competence in intervening in the goal-formulation activity can be taken into account in clinical guidelines on patient participation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-241
Number of pages29
JournalText and Talk
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • conversation analysis
  • discharge planning
  • interdisciplinary meetings
  • patient participation
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language

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