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Book: Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings

Chapter: 1. Process Narratives in a Clinical Setting

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27832


Chapter One examines how interpretation activities applied to interaction and information resources select and link pieces of information in ways that produce recallable units of meaning, process narratives. They may be expressed by a combination of language and gesture related to objects or images. This chapter examines how patients interpret, understand, and recall verbal and visual information related to the symptoms and treatment of uterine fibroid tumors encountered during interventional radiology consultations. The chapter features analysis of video recordings of interaction during two clinical consultations and audio recordings of post-consultation telephone discussions with each patient. During each consultation, a patient and a nurse view and discuss a set of images on a computer screen in order to help the patient understand a medical procedure she is considering. These representative examples of a larger data set show that communication patterns including gestures and pointing affect which pieces of information patients link in the process narratives and understandings they recall days after the consultations. The relationship of process narratives to specific interpretation activities and information resources explains how people develop or fail to develop transferable understandings of new information.

Chapter Contributors

  • Barry Saferstein ([email protected] - book-auth-439) 'California State University, San Marcos'