Primary Care Physicians’ Selection of Verbal Compliance-Gaining Strategies

Michael Burgoon, Roxanne Parrott, Judee K. Burgoon, Thomas Birk, Michael Pfau, Ray Coker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Past research on physicians’ use of methods to increase patients’ compliance with directions seldom considers physicians’ use of verbal compliance-gaining strategies. This study explored primary care physicians’ reports of their compliance-gaining message strategy selection. The investigation found that physicians report use of expertise strategies more than other types of compliance-gaining strategies. Physicians also report that they exert more verbal effort to increase compliance by patients who have potentially severe illnesses and a history of noncompliance. Finally, in those situations in which the physician does not rely on expertise compliance-gaining strategies, the use of verbally aggressive strategies is more likely during initial interactions with patients rather than subsequent interactions. Implications for communication theory and the medical field are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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