Keynote – Merran Toerien
Using conversation analysis to study healthcare interactions: the added value of examining precisely what happens in practice
Conversation analysis (CA) is now well-recognised as a leading approach to studying how healthcare interactions work in practice. In this presentation, Merran Toerien will make a case for the added value – for research and practice – gained by examining precisely what happens in healthcare interactions. Merran Toerien will provide an accessible introduction to the methods and overarching paradigm of CA, with a focus on the contributions made thus far to our understanding of communication in primary care. Merran Toerien will also draw on her own research in UK neurology outpatient clinics, which has focused on how neurologists deliver treatment recommendations and/or offer patients choice. Merran Toerien will show how this work both complements and complicates dominant models of ‘shared decision-making’, and how it can provide an evidence base for communication training. Merran Toerien will argue that CA avoids the almost inevitable gaps between policy and practice, between what people say they do and how they really do it, between our models and the reality of enacting those when faced with each other as real people in real time.