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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Why affiliation matters: a conversation analysis of complaints calls to the NHS
Author(s): Benwell, Bethan
Erofeeva, Maria
Rhys, Catrin S.
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Keywords: General Medicine
Issue Date: Nov-2023
Date Deposited: 17-Jan-2024
Citation: Benwell B, Erofeeva M & Rhys CS (2023) Why affiliation matters: a conversation analysis of complaints calls to the NHS. <i>Patient Education and Counseling</i>, 119, p. 108077.
Abstract: Objective Callers making a complaint share their negative experience in complaint narratives that make relevant affiliation from an operator. We examined how call handlers’ language choices affect both the progress of the call and the stance of the caller. Methods We identified episodes where affiliation is displayed or noticeably absent in a dataset of 95 complaints calls to the NHS. Two single cases were closely examined using conversation analysis. Results Affiliation at sequentially relevant moments in conversation helps progress the call and de-escalate the complaint while the absence or misplacement of affiliation may lead to escalation. The latter recurringly involves blaming whilst de-escalation includes practices that diffuse blame. Early intervention in the form of affiliation to the ‘hurt’ component and the reasoning of the complaint is essential to de-escalation. Conclusion Our analysis revealed three key functions of affiliation in complaints calls: 1) ratifying the reasonableness of the complaint; 2) progressing the institutional requirements of the call; 3) de-escalating the complaint. Practice implications Call handlers should listen for callers’ cues for legitimization of the complainability of their concerns and seek to provide responses that express affiliation.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.pec.2023.108077
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license
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