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Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

Edited By Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb

This is the first collection of readings on computer-mediated communication focusing exclusively on interpersonal interactions. Examining messages exchanged via email, Twitter, Facebook, websites, and blogs, the authors analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.
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14. Healthcare Provider-Recipient Interactions: Is “Online” Interaction the Next Best Thing to Being There? (Theodore A. Avtgis / E. Phillips Polack / Sydney M. Staggers / Susan M. Wieczorek)



Healthcare Provider-Recipient Interactions: Is “Online” Interaction the Next Best Thing to Being There?

Theodore A. Avtgis

E. Phillips Polack

Sydney M. Staggers

Susan M. Wieczorek

Note: The authors would like to thank Dr. Matthew M. Martin for comments made on an earlier draft.

The patient-provider relationship is by far the most researched of all relationships within healthcare (see, e.g., Thompson, Dorsey, Miller, & Parrot, 2003). Whether under the guise of the search for enhanced healing, greater perceived satisfaction, reduced litigation, or better targeted services and interventions, the exchange of information and subsequent relational development has intrigued scholars and practitioners from virtually all healthcare disciplines, social sciences, and humanities. The influx of technology has affected all aspects of medicine including the interpersonal dynamics between the patient and the physician. The influence of computer-mediated interaction on patient care is something that is in the process of being assessed by all aspects of medical practitioners. That is, medical regulatory agencies, patient advocacy groups, insurance carriers, as well as the federal government (Medicaid, Medicare).

The goal of this chapter is to review the existing data on computer technology and interpersonal interaction within healthcare and discuss the implications concerning the use of computer technology in the delivery of healthcare and the relationships that develop between patients and providers. By provider, we refer to physicians, physician extenders (e.g., Physician Assistants [PAs], Nurse Practitioners [NPs]) either solo, in clinics,...

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