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Korean J Fam Med > Volume 31(6); 2010 > Article
Korean Journal of Family Medicine 2010;31(6):453-460.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2010.31.6.453    Published online June 20, 2010.
Medical Jargon Used in Health Care Communication of Family Physician.
Eal Whan Park
Department of Family Medicine, Dankook University Medical College, Cheonan, Korea. ewpark@dku.edu
가정의학과 의사의 진료대화에서 사용된 전문의학용어
단국대학교 의과대학 가정의학교실
When physicians use the medical terms difficult to understand the meaning, patients regard it as an authority of the physician. It has negative influence on physician-patient relationship and hinders delivering accurate meaning to the patient. The purpose of this research is to investigate what kind of medical terms which meaning is difficult to understand (medical jargon) are used in medical interviews and survey the patients' understanding of the medical terms. Methods: In the preceding study 67 cases of physicians' interviewing with patient were videotaped in the family medicine clinic of a university hospital and they were transcribed from August, 2005 to January, 2007. For this study 60 cases of the transcribed conversations, which interviewing was completely recorded, were assessed for analyzing the content and frequency of medical jargon. The author selected 10 medical terms used in this study's interviews and surveyed the patients' understanding of the medical terms, who visited the family medicine clinic, by questionnaires. Results: In 26 of 60 interviews one or more medical jargon were used by the physician. In 39 of 73 terms (53.4%) the physicians explained meaning of the medical terms to the patient. 213 patients responded to the questionnaires. More than half (median, 55.4%; range, 11.7 to 75.1%) of the respondents expressed that they 'never know' or 'hardly know' the meaning of the medical terms if it was used without explanation. The scores of level of patients' understanding of 10 medical terms significantly increased according to increasing level of income, but the trend is not statistically significant according to increasing age, difference of sex, and level of education. Conclusion: The family physicians used medical jargon in 43.3% of medical interviews, and they explained meaning of the medical terms to the patients for more than half of the terms. More than half of the patients in a university hospital family medicine clinic responded that they never knew or hardly knew meaning of the medical terms if they were used without explanation.
Key Words: Medical Terms; Dialogue Analysis; Patient's Understanding


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