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Table 4 Appendix: Guliver Coding System categories selected for the present paper, with examples of each subcategory

From: How do national cultures influence lay people’s preferences toward doctors’ style of communication? A comparison of 35 focus groups from an European cross national research





Non verbal communication

Non verbal behaviour

Facial expression

She comforted the patient with her smile

Eye contact

Body language and so on, looking at the patient and so on. Someone who looks at you like this, who is turned towards you like this.

Touch the way he was the only one who smiled and has touched the lady before leaving. He led his hand on her arm.

Other behaviours

He was fiddling with pencil like this…

Reading and writing

What I find really annoying lately is the doctor sitting and typing in things on the computer while you are talking to him.


It is not really a laughable subject, so I think that I would have thought, 'Why are you laughing?

Process-oriented expressions


Changing topics/signposting

She asked a lot) but sometimes I felt like, "where does it fit in?


…he had learned his lesson by heart and he had to ask all these questions without exploring any further than that..

Time issues

He says to the patient: “Time is up”. That is very impolite.

Open/closing interview

I think only one of the doctors asked how the patient was like just as an informal introduction, hi how are you today, but not many of them did that.



She did the summary for the patient, she wanted to be precise, to be sure of having understood.


Sharing plans/ideas

Asking patient what she thinks should be done now.

Asking permission

Now I’d like to deepen our discussion on this topic, so if you agree I’d like to ask you few questions..


it would have been nice if, as the other three doctors have done, when patient says something the doctor in that precise moment repeats "If I understood you..”

Speaking peculiarities


He repeats his questions several times.


I did not like all these 'ok, ok,' which made me nervous.


She did not complete her sentences…

Task-oriented/problem-focused expressions

Attitude of the doctor


…she was quite self-confident, I would trust her.

Complete picture

I just thought he was dynamic and caught everything you know that was needed to be asked and he finished off really well.

Businesslike /Straight to the point

The doctor gave straightforward answers.

Other attitudes

His communication skills could have been a little better…

Clarity of interview

The doctor expressed himself clearly.


Competent, he has taken the time to inform you that is a reassurance. It’s a edge sort of thing, the competence of the knowledge and the way he is sharing the fact with you.

Collecting information


And it was the only one who asked about a Pab test, that was good, I think. Like: did you have Pab tests before?


… no doctor asked whether she had had sex with her current partner recently.


He thoroughly explores about the job, the family is apparently less important in his opinion, or he pays less attention to it. While I think it should come first

Giving information


the main thing for me is that he tells me straight away what causes the discharge.


she explains that she is trying to understand whether it is a psychological problem or a physical.


Doctors can orientate the patient and tell him: "probably the origin of the problem could be in part psychological".

Prov. solution

Providing solutions

I liked her because it was interesting that she proposed how to resolve the distress of the patient at work.

Affective/emotional expressions

Attitude of the doctor

Inviting attitude

He has created the right atmosphere… so that the lady could say something more.

Pleasant attitude

The girl had a very loving glance, a very gentle glance.

Show interest /commitment

I thought that was the doctor who was most worried about the patient, who showed most involvement.


So but I liked him I put him as my favourite because I found him very empathetic.


.…. he let her finish without interrupting…


She is my favourite. When you are the gatekeeper, then you should first of all reassure the patient that she can say anything.

Neutral/No personal remark

It is not done that a GP has an opinion about it…


I found him very helpful and ready to listen. He let the patient talk quite a bit..