Table 3. Types of explanation
Types of explanationn
Routine clinical explanations: the majority of cases, nearly all marking the end of a period of data gathering and/or physical examination or discussion of test results45
Demanding clinical explanations: where an intricately linked description was needed (for example, in explaining a genetic condition), often with several interlinked explanation phases. These were not necessarily complicated by the need to negotiate with the patient, but were difficult through the amount of complex, logically linked information required, as well as taking into account the patient’s response20
Stance saturated: where the doctor had to balance institutional needs against the patient’s individual need, as part of a joint decision-making process (for example, a patient requesting glucosamine)10
Social or emotional decision-making: similar dilemmas to ‘stance saturated’ but involving a more personal decision by the patient based on their own presenting issues6
Total explanations analysed in the 40 case dataset81