Communication Nonaccommodation in Family Conversations About End-of-Life Health Decisions

Allison M. Scott, John P. Caughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Furthering our understanding of how communication can improve end-of-life decision making requires a shift in focus from whether people talk to how people talk about end-of-life health decisions. This study used communication accommodation theory to examine the extent to which communication nonaccommodation distinguished more from less successful end-of-life conversations among family members. We analyzed elicited conversations about end-of-life health decisions from 121 older parent/adult child dyads using outside ratings of communication over- and underaccommodation and self-reported conversational outcomes. Results of multilevel linear modeling revealed that outside ratings of underaccommodation predicted self-reported and partner-reported uncertainty, and ratings of overaccommodation predicted self-reported decision-making efficacy and change in concordance accuracy. We discuss the methodological, theoretical, and practical implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-153
Number of pages10
JournalHealth communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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