Talking about goals: the use of conversation analysis to study goal setting in dietetic consultations.
The purpose of this study was to find out if conversation analysis can add valuable information to the handbooks that are used to educate dietitians. A total of 20 real-world conversations were recorded between dietitians and clients, of which 8 fragments were analysed according to the type of goal setting that occurred. Goal setting appeared in 10 out of 20 conversations. The findings of thisstudy show that there are three different types of goal setting; Dietitian-initiated goal setting, collaborative goal setting and client-led goalsetting. The third type of goal setting was initiated by the clientand occurred when the client had to convince the dietitian about his or her problems or lack of satisfaction. However, this only occurred twice in 20 consultations. Dietitian-initiated goal setting appeared to enact more resistance than collaborative goal setting. Whenever the dietitian formulated the goal, the clients displayedresistance by pausing, hesitating and by sharing reasons why they cannot undertake action to achieve this goal. Collaborative goal setting was more effective, but led to goals thatwere less difficult to achieve.However,little success is still better than no success at all.
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