Communication between the patient and the physician in clinical encounters has traditionally been considered a passive interaction on the side of the patient, whereby the healthcare provider examines the patient's condition and circumstances, evaluates the situation, and prescribes a certain treatment plan or procedural solution that will heal the patient's ailment. However, recent research and fundamental communications understanding strongly emphasizes that effective communication is a two-way endeavor that ideally should involve input and insight from both sides of the conversation. Treating all clinical interactions as a one-way didactic experience where a provider usually goes through a checklist of commonalities would seem to not approach the same level of patient satisfaction and understanding as active mutual participation employing common conversational and argumentative techniques by both sides of the patient-physician dyad. The Conversational Argument Coding Scheme, presented by Canary et al., was implemented in a slightly modified format to code transcripts of clinical encounters in a college setting. It was demonstrated that clinical encounters employing more forms of conversational argumentation did not statistically correlate to increased ratings of patient satisfaction/knowledge, but did not harm these ratings in a significant manner. This could be due to the limitation that the study was conducted with a patient population consisting entirely of enrolled college students on campus, implying a greater degree of health literacy and education level that highlights that a presence or lack of teach-back or other mutual participation would not significantly affect patient satisfaction/knowledge in the clinical encounter. Further research needs to be conducted to prove this correlation, but as of now, it would be in good practice and in good faith for healthcare providers to employ teach-back or to encourage mutual participation and conversation in their clinical encounters.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Miller, Ann


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Nicholson School of Communication and Media


Nicholson School of Communication and Media

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date