Group consultations in antenatal care: Patients’ perspectives on what patient-patient communication provides

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Background and objectives: The group consultation, where a medical professional engages simultaneously with a group of patients, is increasingly being used in healthcare encounters. Its introduction has been associated with two perceived advantages: 1) that it can provide a more economically sustainable way of transferring health information than the individual consultation and 2) that it can deliver positive patient education outcomes such as new opportunities for learning. Whilst the clinical dyad has been the subject of considerable research, there are many empirical and theoretical gaps in our understanding of the group consultation. Our specific focus is on interpersonal communication in group consultations, with specific focus on patient-patient communication. This paper presents findings from a research project on pregnant women’s experiences of group consultations with a midwife in the Danish setting. Methods: Using a sequential mixed methods design, we first performed a discourse analysis of the written materials provided to the women about the group consultations. In the second step, we interview the women about their experiences of the group consultations. Findings: The analysis of the written materials found the juxtaposition of biomedical and patient empowerment discourses; these findings form the backdrop to the interviews, which are currently being undertaken. Conclusions: This study not only presents empirical findings on a relatively new, but increasingly used, setting for client-professional encounters where expertise is distributed among professionals and clients, it also discusses the implications for practice, theory and ethics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET) - The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 25 Jun 201527 Jun 2015


Conference Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET)
LocationThe University of Hong Kong
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong

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