Ruth uses audio-visual recordings of real life interactions and an approach known as ‘conversation analysis’ to capture and understand how we attempt and accomplish things with one another via communication.
She has interests in difficult communication tasks: e.g. telling someone else what is wrong with their motor performance, talking about dreaded issues such as illness progression and dying. Ruth's other key area of interest is in using analysis of recordings to generate insights into what somewhat nebulous concepts (dignity, patient-centred care) look like in practice.
In recent years, with her team, Ruth has been developing and piloting a set of communication training resources called ‘Real Talk’ which incorporate both clips from real life recordings and evidence from cutting edge observational communication science. The resources are designed for use by communication trainers within their work in NHS, higher education, and hospice settings.