The language of acute pain assessment: a corpus-based critical discourse analysis

Slater, Nigel G. (2015) The language of acute pain assessment: a corpus-based critical discourse analysis. DHSci thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Title: The language of acute pain assessment: a corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis approach

Aim: Through use of real time interactions between healthcare workers and patients in an acute hospital setting this study sets out to investigate how health care workers help or hinder patients to express their pain during the pain assessment process.

Background: Pain has long been an issue for investigation and there are a multitude of assessment options available. However, despite using an assessment framework, the ability of patients to use language to express pain has been shown to be more problematic than might be first considered. This study sets out to investigate how both patients and healthcare workers use language in this assessment process.

Method: Real time data was recorded in an acute hospital in-patient setting. The use of corpus based critical discourse analysis enabled specific instances of word use and phrases related to pain experience to be identified and analysed.

Findings: Two key areas were identified in the analysis of these interactions. The first area related to the traditional aspects of pain assessment relating to terminology used, location and function of pain. The second more important area related to how healthcare professionals presented a certain ‘mentality’ about the assessment process in how they appeared to be patient centred but through the use of brevity of interaction and trivialisation of the issues actually presented an opposite view.

Conclusion: The primary conclusion is that although healthcare workers apply pain assessment processes, their use of language can show that they are both patient-centred and have their own motivations and agendas.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DHSci)
Supervisors: Crawford, Paul
Nairn, Stuart
Keywords: Pain assessment, Critical Discourse Analysis, Corpus-based approach, Health language
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WL Nervous system
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Item ID: 29253
Depositing User: Slater, Nigel
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 11:48
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 05:45

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