• Voices from the third shift: advocate/caregiver perceptions of effective communication in medical encounters

      Babers-M., Terri (2003-09)
      A review of related literature, together with experiential understandings of the author, indicates that interpersonal communication in medical encounters is often triadic rather than dyadic in nature. The central interest of this research is to understand what commonalities of lived experience exist for women who act as advocate/caregivers communicating in medical encounters. The distinction of this study is that the focus is on the socially constructed, lived-experiences of the advocate/caregiver and her understandings of communication effectiveness in interpersonal communication in the medical encounter, rather than on the needs, responsibilities, and competencies of either the provider or the patient. A qualitative research design was used for this study. It consisted of two concept-rich, self-contained focus group conversation/interviews with female caregivers who are employed full, time and who serve in medical encounters as advocates for the family members for whom they care in the home. From an interpretive perspective, this study investigates the socially constructed perceptions, revealed in narratives told in focus group conversations, of advocate/caregivers about their communication experiences as advocates for a patient in medical encounters and what co-constructions of communicative reality they understand to be essential to their perceptions that communication has been effective.