Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

J. D. Wallace

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Jon Camp

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Lauren Lemley


Health communication is a topic that has been broadly researched for a while. It is an area that holds significance everyday due to the number of people involved and the number of people who rely on healthcare in general. Student-athletes sustain over a million injuries annually, over half of which required surgery (Corlette et al., 2015). However, the specific topic of communication between a surgeon and their studentathlete is one that is not studied much at all. Utilizing Communication Accommodation Theory as the theoretical framework, this study explored how surgeons currently use accommodation in their communication to their student-athletes. It specifically looked into approximation, interpretability, interpersonal control, discourse management, emotional expression, communication satisfaction, and approximation. An online survey was sent out to student-athletes asking them about their experience(s) with their surgeon and how they communicate. The results indicate that surgeons who focus on communication accommodation have higher communication satisfaction but do not have higher surgery outcome satisfaction. There were no significant differences based on students’ gender. Emotional expression, interpretability, and discourse management had the strongest relationship with communication satisfaction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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