Weighing in primary-care nurse-patient interactions.

Academic Article


  • This article analyzes the interactions through which primary-care nurses and patients accomplish patient weighing. The analysis is based on videotaped nurse-adult patient interactions in clinics in the area of Southern California. Detailed examination of co-participants' naturally situated weighing conduct shows that parties recurrently deliver utterances that go beyond that required to accomplish weight measurement-precisely "where" they "are" within the weighing process shaping how they produce and understand these utterances. Using weighing as a locus of epistemic negotiation and potential affiliation, co-participants interactionally achieve the distribution of weight/weighing knowledge and the character of their social relationship. Confronting their numerical weight results in a social/medical setting, patients can use expansive weighing utterances to claim or demonstrate that they possess pre-existing knowledge regarding weight, asserting independent expertise vis-à-vis nurses and claiming result co-recipiency and co-ownership. Speakers can also use expansive utterances to proffer an interactional opportunity for affiliation, inviting recipients to collaborate in producing a more personalized encounter. Through the acceptance or declination of these invitations, the parties work out "who" they "are" to and for one another.
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2006
  • Published In


  • Attitude to Health
  • Body Weight
  • California
  • Communication
  • Family Practice
  • Humans
  • Negotiating
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Physical Examination
  • Primary Health Care
  • Sociology, Medical
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16043275
  • Start Page

  • 407
  • End Page

  • 421
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 2