Tracing the discursive development of rapport in intercultural nurse-patient interactions

Tonia Crawford*, Peter Roger, Sally Candlin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Good rapport underpins effective patient care; however, communication barriers can undermine the building of rapport and the development of a therapeutic relationship, potentially resulting in poorer health outcomes. This paper examines the development of rapport by registered nurses (RNs) from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Discourse analytical techniques are used to trace rapport-building in naturally occurring interactions through the course of the participants' nursing care. Ethnographic techniques including participant observations and audio-recordings of interactions were conducted in Sydney, Australia, and analysed using interactional sociolinguistic (IS) and theme oriented discourse analytic approaches. This paper demonstrates how rapport is accomplished by the RNs through strategies such as humour, reassurance, small talk and use of colloquial language.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)636-650
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics (United Kingdom)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


    • CALD
    • discourse analysis
    • interactional sociolinguistics
    • intercultural nurse
    • rapport


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