Communication theory – Sender, Channel, Receiver

Communication in physiotherapy is based upon a communication model which comprises of a sender, channel and receiver. The Barnlund’s transactional model is ideal and applicable within the healthcare setting as it acknowledges the importance of feedback within the communication process between clinician and client (Dwyer, 2012). However, Berry (2006) identified that audible information travelling through the channel can be disrupted by noise which distorts the message.

By acknowledging noise as a form of communication interference, I will try to reduce misinterpretation when communicating with clients. Futuristically, this will be demonstrated through my actions such as providing a quiet, comfortable environment that ensures effective delivery of the message and enhanced patient care.


Figure 1: This model represents the Barnlund transactional model of communication. It comprises of a sender, channel and a receiver. However, Barnlund incorporated feedback into this communication process as conversations generally involve two people exchanging feedback. It is also shown that noise is a form of disturbance which may alter the intended message.                                                                                                          (Source: Transactional models: Barnlund model (2008))



Berry, D. (2006). Health psychology: Health communication: Theory and practice. Retrieved from

Dwyer, J. (2012). Communication for business and the professions: Strategies and skills. Retrieved from

Transactional models: Barnlund model (2008). Retrieved October 19, 2016, from


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