Argumentation between Doctors and Patients

Understanding clinical argumentative discourse

image of Argumentation between Doctors and Patients

Argumentation between Doctors and Patients discusses the use of argumentation in clinical settings. Starting from the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation, it aims at providing an understanding of argumentative discourse in the context of doctor-patient interaction. It explains when and how interactions between doctors and patients can be reconstructed as argumentative, what it means for doctors and patients to reasonably resolve a difference of opinion, what it implies to strive simultaneously for reasonableness and effectiveness in clinical discourse, and when such efforts derail into fallaciousness. Argumentation between Doctors and Patients is of interest to all those who seek to improve their understanding of argumentation in a medical context – whether they are students, scholars of argumentation, or medical practitioners.

Frans H. van Eemeren, Bart Garssen and Nanon Labrie are prominent argumentation theorists. In writing Argumentation between Doctors and Patients, they have benefited from the advice of an Advisory Board consisting of both medical practitioners and argumentation scholars.


  1. Street Jr., R. L. , Makoul, G. , Arora, N. K. , & Epstein, R. M.
    (2009) How does communication heal? Pathways linking clinician-patient communication to health outcomes. Patient Education and Counseling, 74, 295–301
    [Google Scholar]
  2. De Haes, H. , & Bensing, J.
    (2009) Endpoints in medical communication research, proposing a framework of functions and outcomes. Patient education and counseling, 74(3), 287–294.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Labrie, N.
    (2012) Strategic maneuvering in treatment decision-making discussions: two cases in point. Argumentation, 26(2), 171–199. 10.1007/s10503‑011‑9228‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-011-9228-5 [Google Scholar]
  4. (2013) Strategically eliciting concessions from patients in treatment decision-making discussions. Journal of Argumentation in Context, 2(3), 322–341. 10.1075/jaic.2.3.03lab
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jaic.2.3.03lab [Google Scholar]
  5. Labrie, N. , & Schulz, P. J.
    (2014) Does argumentation matter? A systematic literature review on the role of argumentation in doctor–patient communication. Health Communication, 29(10), 996–1008. 10.1080/10410236.2013.829018
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2013.829018 [Google Scholar]
  6. Labrie, N. H. , & Schulz, P. J.
    (2015a) Exploring the relationships between participatory decision-making, visit duration, and general practitioners’ provision of argumentation to support their medical advice: results from a content analysis. Patient Education and Counseling, 98(5), 572–577. 10.1016/j.pec.2015.01.017
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2015.01.017 [Google Scholar]
  7. Labrie, N. , & Schulz, P. J.
    (2015b) Quantifying doctors’ argumentation in general practice consultation through content analysis: Measurement development and preliminary results. Argumentation, 29(1), 33–55. 10.1007/s10503‑014‑9331‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-014-9331-5 [Google Scholar]
  8. Labrie, N. H. , & Schulz, P. J.
    (2015c) The effects of general practitioners’ use of argumentation to support their treatment advice: Results of an experimental study using video-vignettes. Health Communication, 30(10), 951–961. 10.1080/10410236.2014.909276
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2014.909276 [Google Scholar]
  9. Pilgram, R.
    (2015) A doctor’s argument by authority: An analytical and empirical study of strategic manoeuvring in medical consultation. Doctoral dissertation: University of Amsterdam.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Snoeck Henkemans, A. F. , & Mohammed, D.
    (2012) Institutional constraints on strategic maneuvering in shared medical decision-making. Journal of Argumentation in context, 1(1), 19–32. 10.1075/jaic.1.1.03moh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jaic.1.1.03moh [Google Scholar]
  11. Snoeck Henkemans, A. F. , & Wagemans, J. H.
    (2012) The reasonableness of argumentation from expert opinion in medical discussions: Institutional safeguards for the quality of shared decision making. In J. Goodwin (Ed.), Between scientists and citizens: Proceedings of a Conference at Iowa State University (June1–2 2012) Ames, IA: Great Plains Society for the Study of Argumentation. 10.31274/sciencecommunication‑180809‑83
    https://doi.org/10.31274/sciencecommunication-180809-83 [Google Scholar]
-contentType:Journal -contentType:Chapter
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error