Chapter 8. Advice giving – terminable and interminable: The case of British health visitors

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Advice giving is a central feature of many forms of professional-client interaction. This paper looks at advice giving on medical and related matters by British community nurses to first-time mothers of new-borns, in the context of visits to the new mothers’ homes. Current evidence from survey studies and interaction analysis suggests that much of the advice giving in these visits may be a source of tension between mother and nurse and may give rise to problems in relationship making between the two. The present study develops Heritage and Sefi’s (1992) research on the initiation and reception of advice in health visits by describing the problems that both mothers and nurses may find in bringing different kinds of advice to a conclusion.


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