Expression of Patients’ and Providers’ Identities during the Medical Interview

Juliann Scholl, Jacquee Brown Wilson, Patrick Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We apply the Communication Theory of Identity to investigate how patients display their ethnic identities during intercultural patient-provider interactions. Ethnic identity displays play a large part in reflecting patients’ and providers’ assumptions about the other as well as their communicative needs. We collected paper-and-pencil responses from a convenience sample of providers and their patients, and conducted a constant comparative analysis of their open-ended reports of a recent intercultural medical interview. The results revealed how both parties viewed their roles in intercultural medical encounters and how they looked for accommodative behaviors from the other party. We draw implications for new applications and future developments of the Communication Theory of Identity and Communication Accommodation Theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1032
JournalQualitative Health Research
StatePublished - Aug 2011


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