University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The impact of matching the patient's vocabulary: a randomized control trial

Williams, N and Ogden, J (2004) The impact of matching the patient's vocabulary: a randomized control trial Family Practice, 21 (6). pp. 630-635.

Ogden 2004 The impact of matching the patient’s language nigellang.pap.pdf
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (154kB)
Text (licence)

Download (33kB)


Background. Research in general practice emphasizes the importance of matched models, beliefs and vocabulary in the consultation. Objective. The present study aimed to explore the impact of matched and unmatched vocabulary on patient satisfaction with consultations. Methods. The study took place in one inner city general practice. Patients (n = 62) were randomized to either matched or unmatched vocabulary consultations when consulting for problems relating to sexual or bodily function or anatomy. Matched consultations required the doctor to use the same vocabulary as the patient. Unmatched consultations required the doctor to use medical vocabulary. Completed questionnaires were received from 60 patients. The main outcome measure was patient satisfaction (using the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale). This assesses total satisfaction and has four subscales: distress relief; communication comfort; rapport; and compliance intent. Doctor satisfaction with the consultation was also assessed. Results. The results showed that the two groups were comparable for demographic variables and doctor satisfaction. However, patients in the matched consultation group had significantly higher total satisfaction scores and higher ratings of rapport, communication comfort, distress relief and compliance intent than those in the unmatched group. Conclusion. The results indicate that a doctor's choice of vocabulary affects patient satisfaction immediately after a general practice consultation and that using the same vocabulary as the patient can improve patient outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 2004
Identification Number : 10.1093/fampra/cmh610
Additional Information : © Oxford University Press 2004, all rights reserved. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in FAMILY PRACTICE following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: Williams N and Ogden J. The impact of matching the patient's vocabulary: a randomized control trial. Family Practice 2004; 21: 632–637 is available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Aug 2014 18:07
Last Modified : 09 Aug 2014 01:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800