Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Social Policy

First Advisor

Prof. Alfred C M Chan

Second Advisor

Prof. David R Phillips


This thesis attempts to explain the older-patients and doctors’ relationship through negotiation. The relationship between older-patients and their doctors is important because, first, the patient-doctor relationship is basic to the health care system and is a foundation for all patient care; second, populations are ageing and this group often has a higher incidence of chronic illnesses. Therefore, the older patient-doctor consultation becomes of paramount importance in enabling patients and the health care system to manage their illnesses effectively.

This thesis describes a negotiation process (from reception, consultation, to outcome) and outcome patterns between older patients and doctors in medical consultation. It could be explained by the symbolic interaction perspective. Simply, both patients and doctors had gone through many internal thoughts and came to each other with a purpose or an expected outcome before the negotiation (i.e. the styles). Then there were gives and takes during the negotiation process (i.e. the consultation process), establishing a final equilibrium of a relationship falling into the 16 negotiation patterns developed.

The study has been undertaken three principal methods in addition to reviewing the published literature.

Recommended Citation

Ma, H. K. C. (2006). Explaining older-patient and doctor relationship through negotiation (Doctoral dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

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Sociology Commons