The expression of emotions in online medical consultations: a comprehensive Spanish-English analysis


Doctor-patient communication, stance variation, register variation, interpersonal strategies, attitude markers

How to Cite

Giménez-Moreno, R., & Ricart-Vayá, A. (2022). The expression of emotions in online medical consultations: a comprehensive Spanish-English analysis. Ibérica, (44), 239–262.


Doctor-patient interpersonality strategies have evolved considerably in recent years, mainly due to the increase in telephone and online consultations generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this type of interaction, the control and expression of emotions have a crucial influence on the adequacy and effectiveness of communication. Remote interaction makes this affective exchange even more complex than in face-to-face consultations. The present study aims to configure a comprehensive model for analysing the affective domain in virtual medical consultations, useful for English and Spanish patients and learners. With this aim, the most recognised theories on professional interpersonality are reviewed and applied to a corpus of doctor-patient interactions in Peninsular Spanish and British English, extracted from representative forums on the Internet. The analysis highlights how specific stance and register variation mechanisms positively and negatively influence the emotional domain in these communicative exchanges. The proposed model allows significant contrastive findings on the occurrence and intensity of sentiment markers in both languages. The results illustrate how doctors in Spanish favour a more cautious, detached and predictable encounter, while doctors in English use a greater number and variety of attitudinal strategies to achieve engagement, empathy and emotional comfort.


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