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Making Conversation Analysis Accessible: A Conceptual Guide for Health Services Researchers


 The quality of healthcare communication can impact both experiences and outcomes. We highlight aspects of communication that can be systematically examined using Conversation Analysis (CA) and provide guidance about how researchers can incorporate CA into healthcare studies. CA is a qualitative method for studying naturally occurring communication by analyzing recurrent, systematic practices of verbal and nonverbal behavior. CA involves examining audio- or video-recorded conversations and their transcriptions to identify practices speakers use to communicate and interpret behavior. We explain what distinguishes CA from other methods that study communication and highlight

three accessible CA approaches that researchers can use in their research design, analysis, or implementation of

communication interventions. Specifically, these approaches focus on how  talk is produced (specific words, framing, and

syntax), by whom,  and when  it occurs in the conversation. These approaches can be leveraged to generate hypotheses

and to identify patterns of behavior that inform empirically driven communication interventions.

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