"The brave battle": the use of metaphors in medical consultation

Author/s Stefania Anania, Serena Barello, Elena Vegni, Egidio A. Moja
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/2
Language Italian Pages 14 P. 159-172 File size 449 KB
DOI 10.3280/PDS2013-002010
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There are not systematic researches about the use of metaphors in medical consultations. This work aimed to describe the use of metaphors in Italian general medicine consultations through the analysis of: the frequencies of metaphors, metaphors’ trigger, metaphors’ distribution on timing, what metaphors say, how metaphors explain their contents, the functions of the metaphors (cognitive function vs emotive function). 100 videotaped general practice outpatient consultations were considered. All the sentences where metaphors used a figurative language in which one concept is described as being equivalent to another were selected and transcribed. Data analysis was conducted using a quantitative approach (frequencies) to analyze metaphors’ trigger and timing, and a qualitative analysis was conducted first to categorize metaphors and then to create a taxonomy based on the metaphors’ categories. 280 metaphors were found: 43.2% were pronounced by physicians and 56.8% by patients. In 41 consultations the trigger was the patient (55.4%). Metaphors were pronounced on the average every 3’30’’. The taxonomy emerged overlapped partially with the existent literature. Patients used metaphors more than physicians, gathering them in the first part of the consultation, and using them with emotional goals. Metaphor is a specific linguistic feature of the physician-patient relation.

Keywords: Metaphor, ambulatory care, general practice, physician-patient communication

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Stefania Anania, Serena Barello, Elena Vegni, Egidio A. Moja, "The brave battle": l’uso della metafora nella visita medica in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 2/2013, pp 159-172, DOI: 10.3280/PDS2013-002010