Ways of meaning : A case study of two oncologists' answers to questions asked by advanced cancer patients and their companions
This paper explores one aspect of the operationalisation of a patient-centred ideology of care by examining an oncologist's answers to questions asked by her patient and his companion during a palliative oncology consultation and comparing her answers to the markedly different answers of another oncologist. Halliday's concept of register and Hasan's semantic networks are used to examine the oncologists' answers. Patients' questions create the semiotic environment for clinicians to provide the information patients need for informed decision-making - an important aspect of patient-centredness. The answers clinicians provide construe their position towards this ideology of care. Findings suggest that one way patient-centredness can be operationalised, at the level of semantics, is through providing elaborated answers that explicitly display the reasoning employed by the oncologist.