Quantitative and qualitative approaches to the evaluation of the medical dialogue

Debra Roter, Richard Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Increasing availability of audio and videotape of medical encounters has drawn the attention of researchers from diverse disciplines and perspectives. Unfortunately, the result has more frequently been interdisciplinary competition than collaboration. Most striking are the differences in approach between researchers applying qualitative and quantitative methods. Advocates of each of these methods have not only argued their own relative merits, but have maintained unusually critical and intellectually isolated positions. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the paradigmatic perspective which promotes mutual exclusivity is in error. We present several examples of research findings which demonstrate the rich potential for cross-method research. Examples have been taken from the areas of most fruitful qualitative and quantitative research-information gathering, patient disclosure, and information-giving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1103
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1992


  • communication evaluation
  • doctor-patient communication
  • quantitative/qualitative evaluation of medical dialogue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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