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Table 2 Categories (in italics) and Themes developed from focus group transcripts

From: “They are talking from the Encyclopedia Britannica brain”: diabetes patients’ perceptions of barriers to communicating with physicians

Patients’ self-constructed beliefs about their condition

 Minimizing Severity

Minimizing the importance of T2DM and self-management


Shame or self-blame about motivational challenges self-managing T2DM

Perceptions of Physicians Behaviors

 Testing the Relationship

Participants described difficulty understanding the physician and used their assessment to determine whether to remain active.


Participants indicated that a physician used a lecturing/controlling style to direct behavior change.

 Power – Distance

An imbalance of power in the medical interaction and a resulting relational distance (separation) between patient and physician.

Perceptions about external influences on the medical encounter

 Lack of Continuity

Problems with not knowing the physician and not having a physician who knows you.

 Electronic Health Record (EHR)

Participants felt the computer diverted the physician’s attention and participants made assumptions about information in the EHR.


Participants believed that physicians were busy and that time constraints limited communication