Videos on contextualized care available online

Professor Saul Weiner of University of Illinois Chicago, author of the book “Listening for what matters” (with Alan Schwartz) and 2020 keynote speaker at ICCH, has produced a set of videos on the concept contextualized care. We have been allowed to post a link here to the set of videos, which are relatively short, didactic, and nice to see in a sequence. Recently (May 2022) Weiner has updated his series of videos with one that demonstrates how teachers can add context in a fruitful way to clinical cases.

Cancellation of OCHER 2022

We regret to inform that due to the last severe governmental restrictions in Norway because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will again have to cancel the workshop. This time too late for us to avoid financial implications, but at least we can assure all registered participants that they will get their registration fees refunded.

We emphasize that we will not surrender, and have already planned to arrange another workshop on January 11-13, 2023. We hope that all 48 registered participants will return, and also invite interested colleagues to attend this very special conference, where projects are presented in an early phase to get international feedback. All presenters have 30 minutes of attention for their project, 10 min for presentation and 20 min for discussion.

The workshop has also time scheduled for developing research projects across countries, disciplines, and fields of inquiry. We encourage interdisciplinary work.

OCHER 2022 will be held as planned – some delay in invoices

We can assure all who have submitted abstracts and received a mail of acceptance, that OCHER 2022 will not be cancelled. We received more than 40 registrations, which is sufficient to fund the event. However, in an earlier post we forecasted that invoices would be sent to participants right after acceptance of abstracts, but there has been some delay in that process. We will send invoices as soon as possible, and the payment deadline will be 14 days after issue of your invoice.

We look forward to see you all at Thon Hotel Triaden in January.

OCHER abstracts received and accepted

We have received more than 30 abstracts for the OCHER 2022 workshop, from Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and the Nordic countries. The workshop will take place on January 12-14 at Thon Hotel Triaden, Lørenskog, Norway. An e-mail of acceptance has now been sent to all accepted abstract submitters. If you have not received an e-mail, please contact us immediately. We remind you that a registration form must be submitted by October 4. If less than 40 registrations are received, we will have to cancel the workshop. Hopefully, this will not happen as travel restrictions are now expected to be less rigid.

OCHER 2022 – information and registration form sent to former participants

We have today sent an invitation e-mail with the program and registration form for OCHER 2022. Those who have received this e-mail may share it with other researchers in the field of communication in healthcare. We hope to see 60 participants in January for the “jubilee” version – the 10th international research workshop on communication.

Please note that the deadline for abstracts is September 14. Notification of acceptance will come no later than October 1, and registration deadline is October 4. You will then receive an invoice from Akershus University Hospital (Akershus universitetssykehus). Whether it is to be paid by your institution or yourself, please make sure the correct address is given in the registration form. Deadline for payment is October 18.

Abstracts should be sent to Pål Gulbrandsen ( and registration forms to Reidun Skårerhøgda (

If we receive less than 25 abstracts or if we will receive less than 40 registrations, we will cancel the workshop. This has not happened before except last year, due to the pandemic. We hope the pandemic subsides and that travel restrictions will be less strict this year, We wish you all wellcome!

OCHER publication list updated till August 9, 2021

We have now made our update of the publication list of OCHER members working in Norway. This time we have added 54 papers to the list. Search term used in PubMed is (Gulbrandsen P OR Finset A OR Eide H OR Svennevig J OR Gerwing J OR Ofstad EH OR Kasper J OR Steinsbekk A OR Menichetti J OR Lie HC), limited backward to 2 July 2020. This search returned 129 papers, but some were already included, and some were not related to OCHER (Kasper J includes several other authors than “our” Kasper).

OCHER 2022 is scheduled to January 12-14, Durand and Bigi are keynotes

We aim to arrange the 10th OCHER research workshop in January 2022 and cross fingers for the pandemic to have subsided sufficiently for an in-person meeting.  Both keynote speakers Marie-Anne Durand and Sarah Bigi have agreed to present as was planned for the 2021 workshop which we unfortunately had to cancel because of the pandemic. Bigi works at the Catholic University of Milan, and Durand at the Universities of Toulouse and Lausanne. They represent two radically different but equally important approaches to the study of interactions in medicine, and will definitely add new understanding to our community.

You may expect deadline for abstracts to be September 14, and acceptance will be received by October 1. Registration deadline will be October 4, and deadline for payment will be October 18.

Bigi’s talks:

“Models of interaction in healthcare communication studies: the missing link between theory and practice” – Based on argumentation theory, she will argue in favor of a distinction between models of communication and paradigms of care, which sometimes in the healthcare communication literature seem to be confused or conflated.

“What are people doing when they talk? Challenges in assessing what ‘good communication’ looks like” – She asks: how do we assess the quality of communication if we want to use discursive criteria (and not, for example, patient satisfaction or perceptions)? How can we assess what people are ‘doing to each other’ with their utterances if we cannot analyze people’s intentions? And how do we distinguish between argumentation and explanation in real-life dialogues?

Durand’s talks:

“What Matters Most: Randomized Controlled Trial of Breast Cancer Surgery Conversation Aids Across Socioeconomic Strata” – about the effect of a paper-based pictorial conversation aid (pictures+ text) to patients with early-stage breast cancer. They studied effects across socioeconomic strata as well as between surgeons applying the aids.

Implementing patient-centered innovations in healthcare: from theory to practice” – about the main implementation frameworks and examples of their use.

Registration as Scientia Fellows II host

Pål Gulbrandsen has registered as a Scientia Fellows host. Our suggested broad thematic area is Clinician-Patient Communication and Adherence and subfield is Quality of Communication with Old Patients. The postdoc position, if the applicant succeeds, will be connected to the projects announced in the post below. Contact Dr. Gulbrandsen at his e-mail address, to be found at the website if you have questions.

3 PhD positions soon to be announced

OCHER lead Pål Gulbrandsen has received one grant from the Norwegian Research Council (NRC) that will fund 2 PhD students for 3 years, and one grant from Helse Sør-Øst (Southeast Norway Regional Hospital Trust – HSØ) covering 1 PhD student for 3 years.

The NRC project will explore medication information quality when older patients hospitalized with heart failure are discharged to their homes. We will apply audiotapes of doctor/patient conversations, interviews, collection of written material, home visits, and questionnaires in a mixed methods approach. The study will require complex and comprehensive longitudinal data collection.

The HSØ project aims to study how 1st year residents deal with and communicate about uncertainty. We will apply questionnaires, field work with extensive use of audiotapes and interviews to increase understanding of characteristics of persons, situations, reasoning, and possible remedies to help residents’ quicker adaptation of good ways to handle uncertainty.

The PhD students will have to be very well organized, able to communicate and collaborate with an array of people, and with analytical minds. We hope to be able to announce the positions within 2 months. We will consider a background in medicine or psychology an advantage, but are open to others with relevant backgrounds. Unfortunately, we cannot employ people without excellent working knowledge of a Scandinavian language, because data collection will include interviews with older Norwegian patients and ability to pick up important uncertainty cues during field work.

If you consider yourself a future applicant, please send and e-mail to Pål Gulbrandsen, who will consider sharing the project description with you. You will find the address at

OCHER workshop in January 2021 cancelled due to the pandemic

The annual OCHER research workshop on communication in healthcare has since 2012 been an important event for researchers to present their studies in early phases, in order to improve proposals, analyses, and papers. It has also been a forum aimed at connecting young researchers in several countries, including the Scandinavian countries, Germany, the Netherlands, and UK. That’s why we hoped to attract a sufficient amount of abstracts to run the workshop also in 2021, despite the pandemic. However, we received fewer abstracts than our limit, and decided to cancel the workshop before registration deadline.

We aim to arrange a new workshop in January 12-14, 2022. Invitation e-mails and announcement will come in August 2021.