Influence of illness script components and medical practice on medical decision making

Paul van Schaik*, Darren Flynn, Anna Van Wersch, Andrew Douglass, Paul Cann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Illness scripts are knowledge structures composed of consequences, enabling conditions, and faults. The effects of illness script components - consequences and enabling conditions - and physician factors on referral decisions for gastrointestinal disorders were investigated. The hypothesis that consequences and enabling conditions increase the likelihood of referral was confirmed and several interactions between consequences and enabling conditions were found. The hypothesis that physician factors moderate the effect of enabling conditions was also confirmed, but (contrary to illness script theory) evidence was also found for moderation of consequences. Both enabling conditions and consequences were found to be moderated by physician factors to a larger extent than previously assumed by illness script theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


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