VR-CoDES – Network of Sequence Analysis

The Verona Network on Sequence Analysis, met in 2003 and 2004 to study critical health provider–patient communication sequences in which patients signal or express emotional distress. The lack of a common ground in defining cues and concerns led to the decision to launch a consensus process on the definition of cues and concerns and, subsequently, on the definition of health provider responses to such expressions. With the purpose to facilitate comparative research on the basis of a shared language, the process gave rise to the Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences (VR-CoDES) consisting of two manuals, one for cues and concerns expressed by patients and one for health provider responses.




The VR-CoDES coding manual has instructions on how to carry out the division into units of analysis and to calculate reliability indices, and a coding exercise book for rater training.

Members  If you are a member of EACH, you may download the manual free of charge by completing the form. Manuals are available in English, Italian and Portuguese.  Please click the button.

Non Members  Non members may purchase the manual for £25 by completing the registration form.  Please click the button.


There has been little consensus in definitions among coding systems of how to code emotional talk and the theoretical background of other coding systems varies considerably. The VR-CoDES represents the result of a shared effort in finding a general consensus among different experts in health communication research. The work includes conceptual and procedural outcomes of the “Verona Network on Sequence Analysis” which has reached on evaluating health provider’s behaviour in response to emotional talking by the patient as described in the VR-CoDES system for patient cues and concerns.

The VR-CoDES allows researchers to adopt sequence analysis techniques. Sequence analysis allows an understanding of the temporal relationship between events focusing on interactions in terms of what communication behaviour precedes and what follows a target behaviour. The impact of provider responses to cues and concerns can be investigated through interaction analysis systems which can describe the consultation process realistically and accurately, reflecting the dynamics of true interaction.  Even if sequential analysis presents challenging methodological and conceptual problems it permits to study the natural course of events and thus provides a more valid picture of communication processes. The SIG provides an excellent forum for the development of these approaches.


  1. To facilitate, develop and consolidate the VR-CoDES system as a means to both qualitatively and quantitatively identify episodes and sequences of emotional interaction and health provider responses.
  2. To organise and sustain the Verona Sequence Analysis Group meetings (since 2003 annual event held in February/March)
  3. To strengthen research activity and improve understanding of emotional communication in health care interactions

Proposed Activity

  1. Cataloguing of peer review papers
  2. SIG meetings at conferences and special meetings
  3. Language versions of VR-CoDES developed and posted onto SIG page
  4. Advisory documentation for use of VR-CoDES e.g. Summary instructions for conversion of original Observer data file into usable computer statistical package (e.g. SPSS, STATA)
  5. Extension  of  VR-CoDES application to different settings (triadic conversations, veterinary, dentistry, psychiatry, psychotherapy…)


Lidia Del Piccolo
Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology
Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences
University of Verona
Section of Clinical Psychology
Policlinico G.B. Rossi
Piazzale L.A. Scuro 10, 37134 Verona, Italy.
Email: lidia.delpiccolo@univr.it
Tel: +39 045 8124692
Arnstein Finset
Professor – Dept of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
Medical School
University of Oslo
Postboks 1111 Blindern 0317 OSLO
Email: arnstein.finset@medisin.uio.no
Tel: +47 22851435
Gerry Humphris
Professor – Health Psychology
Medical School
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TF, UK
Email: gmh4@st-andrews.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1334 463565
Margarida Figeureo-Braga
Medical Psychology Unit,
Dep Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health
Faculty of Medicine
University of Porto
Email: mmfb@med.up.pt
Tel: +35 122 5513672