‘I must do everything to eliminate my negative attitude’

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The objective of this paper is to explore Polish general practitioners&#8217; (GPs) language of emotions used with regard to patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Specifically, the study focuses on the linguistic expressions and discursive strategies drawn upon in the communication of emotions and value judgments towards this group of patients. This study is part of the larger research project on challenges Polish GPs face while dealing with patients with MUS (cf. Czachowski et al. 2011). The investigation of 4 focus groups revealed, <i>inter alia</i>, that the doctors frequently use labels and metaphors, such as <i>maruda</i> [&#8216;whinger&#8217;] or <i>&#347;wi&#281;ta krowa</i> [&#8216;sacred cow&#8217;] to refer to and evaluate these patients. Such expressions communicate doctors&#8217; negative emotions. These emotions influenced the doctors&#8217; behaviour during the consultation: the doctors admitted to referring patients with MUS to secondary care or shortening the visit.


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