Presentation Title

Analysis of Word Usage Surrounding Connectional Silences

Project Collaborators

Robert Gramling, Margaret Eppstein, Laurence Clarfeld, Brigitte Durieux, Cailin Gramling

Abstract

The analysis of patient-doctor communication in serious illness contexts is important for the understanding of high-quality conversations concerning illness. Conversational pauses during patient-clinician consultation which represent a moment of shared understanding are referred to as Connectional Silences. Connectional Silences are classified as Invitational, Emotional, and Compassionate. We analyzed 111 audio-recorded and transcribed serious illness conversations from the Palliative Care Communication Research Initiative multisite cohort study. Previously, trained human coders had identified the locations and types of Connectional Silences in the audio recordings of these conversations. In this study, we located where these Connectional Silences were in the transcripts and edited the transcripts to indicate their location and type, as well as where in the text the ten seconds before and 5 seconds after each Connectional Silence occurred. We used Natural Language Processing techniques to analyze word frequencies in the text occurring immediately before and immediately after Connectional Silences. In this presentation we compare word usage before, after, and not associated with moments of Connectional Silence in serious illness conversations between clinicians and patients, and discuss some possible implications of our findings.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Robert Gramling

Secondary Mentor NetID

meppstei

Secondary Mentor Name

Margaret Eppstein

Graduate Student Mentors

Laurence Clarfeld

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Program/Major

Computer Science

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Analysis of Word Usage Surrounding Connectional Silences

The analysis of patient-doctor communication in serious illness contexts is important for the understanding of high-quality conversations concerning illness. Conversational pauses during patient-clinician consultation which represent a moment of shared understanding are referred to as Connectional Silences. Connectional Silences are classified as Invitational, Emotional, and Compassionate. We analyzed 111 audio-recorded and transcribed serious illness conversations from the Palliative Care Communication Research Initiative multisite cohort study. Previously, trained human coders had identified the locations and types of Connectional Silences in the audio recordings of these conversations. In this study, we located where these Connectional Silences were in the transcripts and edited the transcripts to indicate their location and type, as well as where in the text the ten seconds before and 5 seconds after each Connectional Silence occurred. We used Natural Language Processing techniques to analyze word frequencies in the text occurring immediately before and immediately after Connectional Silences. In this presentation we compare word usage before, after, and not associated with moments of Connectional Silence in serious illness conversations between clinicians and patients, and discuss some possible implications of our findings.