The value of coding provider–patient health interaction lies in the ability of this method to provide detailed understanding of the communication dynamics of the medical encounter. In this entry, verbal coding methods are explained; the history of coding health interaction, including a summary of published coding systems, is reviewed; instructions are given for applying this method to real-time communication between providers and patients, including calculating reliability coefficients; and various outcome measures are related to coding results.


Quantitative coding is an effective method to gain detailed information about how patients and health care providers communicate. Coding methods examining verbal exchange messages focus on the actual talk that occurs between two people—what is said, how it is said, and how these messages create perceptions of a relationship with ...

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