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Health (London)

Signe Lindgaard Andersen, Ove Andersen, Janne Petersen, Ayo Wahlberg
In recent years, it has become increasingly important to understand the global circulation of healthcare innovations in nations' attempts to solve contemporary health challenges. This article is a systematic review and meta-ethnography-inspired analysis that explores the global circulation of health-related standards, protocols, procedures, and regulations, or what we term health-promoting infrastructures (HPIs). The notion of HPIs is defined as built networks that allow for the circulation of health expertise with the intention of promoting solutions that address global health problems...
February 13, 2019: Health (London)
Ekatherina Zhukova
This article looks at chronic crisis on an empirical example of radiation embodiment by survivors of a nuclear disaster. Developing further the work of Henrik Vigh, this article argues that chronic crisis is conflictual in nature, where some individuals fully embrace it, while others reject it. A total of 16 in-depth interviews were conducted with survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster from Belarus who were below 18 years in 1986 and born in or after 1986. It is shown that survivors do not consider themselves affected, when they argue against social stigma imposed by others and when development discourse in relation to post-communist health care is used as a background against which nuclear victimhood can be argued...
February 13, 2019: Health (London)
Judy Z Segal
The contemporary health subject, often described as a new, empowered patient, is not simply a character in a story of progress toward knowledge and power, away from credulity and passivity. Before the 20th century, and the assertion of a medical system that became frankly paternalistic, laypeople adjudicated on many matters of illness and its treatments. That is, 18th- and 19th-century health subjects were empowered too, and studying them, especially as consumers of health products, helps us develop a more nuanced account of our current medico-commercial selves...
February 13, 2019: Health (London)
Alex Broom, Emma Kirby, Renata Kokanović, Lisa Woodland, David Wyld, Paul de Souza, Eng-Siew Koh, Zarnie Lwin
In this article, we focus on developing a critical sociology of 'cultural and linguistic diversity' as evident in cancer care praxis, drawing on the perspectives of cancer care health professionals. Set within the context of increasing efforts on the part of healthcare providers to 'accommodate difference' and 'incorporate diversity', we aimed to utilise participants' accounts of practice to ask: how do we and how should we think about and operationalise 'culture' (if at all) in cancer care settings. Drawing on eight focus groups with doctors, nurses, allied health staff and multicultural community workers, here we explore their accounts of: othering and over-simplification; the role of absences in biographical reciprocity; intimacy, care and carelessness; and entanglements of culture with other aspects of the person...
February 13, 2019: Health (London)
Christopher Till
The use of self-tracking devices has increased dramatically in recent years with enthusiasm from the public as well as public health officers, healthcare providers and workplaces seeking to instigate behaviour change in populations. Analysis of the ontological principles informing the design and implementation of the Apple Watch and corporate wellness programmes using self-tracking technologies shows that their primary focus is on the capture and control of attention rather than material health outcomes. Health, wellness and happiness have been conflated with productivity, which is now deemed to be dependent on the harnessing of libidinal as well as physical energy...
February 13, 2019: Health (London)
John-Arne Skolbekken
Among the instruments offered to citizens via digital media are risk calculators, aiming at identifying individuals at high risk of various diseases. These calculators present us with both epistemological and socioethical challenges. Tracking the history of individual risk models, this article provides an analysis looking into their content, construction, use and functions. Epistemologically, the notion of risk factor epidemiology frames an approach to public health that goes through the identification of high-risk individuals, providing a way of making public health doable without involving social, cultural and economical factors in the risk assessments...
January 25, 2019: Health (London)
Ruth Bailey, Karen Lowton, Sasha Scambler
Taking a social model of disability approach, this article explores how disabled people negotiate barriers in the large, modern hospital settings typically found in complex healthcare systems. While there is evidence of intractable barriers in the United Kingdom's National Health Service, little is known about the actions disabled people take in the face of barriers and the immediate effects of doing so. Analysis of data from a qualitative study of disabled people's healthcare encounters is presented. This draws on the concept of threats to embodied well-being to understand how disabled people perceive barriers and the influence this perception has on barrier negotiation...
January 3, 2019: Health (London)
Sathyaraj Venkatesan, Anu Mary Peter
Socio-cultural rigidities regarding the shape and size of a woman's body have not only created an urgency to refashion themselves according to a range of set standards but also generated an infiltrating sense of body dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem leading to eating disorders. Interestingly, through an adept utilisation of the formal strengths of the medium of comics, many graphic medical anorexia narratives offer insightful elucidations on the question of how the female body is not merely a biological construction, but a biocultural construction too...
December 23, 2018: Health (London)
Eline Meijer, Eleni Vangeli, Winifred A Gebhardt, Colette van Laar
The importance of identity in smoking cessation is increasingly becoming recognized by researchers. This study is the first in-depth longitudinal qualitative investigation of identity change processes among smokers who intend to quit. Participants' accounts of smoking, attempts to quit and sense of identity were explored over time to examine identity continuity and change. Ten smokers with a quit intention were interviewed three times, approximately 1 month apart, and approached for follow-up 2 years later...
December 12, 2018: Health (London)
Alan Petersen, Allegra Clare Schermuly, Alison Anderson
Digital media provide novel tools for patient activists from disease- and condition-specific communities. While those with debilitating conditions or disabilities have long recognised the value of collective action for advancing their interests, digital media offer activists unparalleled opportunities to fulfil their goals. This article explores the shifting politics of 'activism' in the increasingly digitally mediated, commercialised context of healthcare, asking: what role have digital media played in the repertoire of activists' strategies? And, to what extent and how has the use of such media impacted the very concept of activism? Building on sociological ideas on emergent forms of 'biological citizenship' and drawing on findings from an analysis of available media, including television and print news reportage, online communications, published histories and campaign material and other information produced by activists in HIV/AIDS and breast cancer communities, we argue that digital media have profoundly shaped how 'activism' is enacted, both the goals pursued and the strategies adopted, which serve to broadly align contemporary patient communities' interests with those of science and business...
December 7, 2018: Health (London)
Agnese Sile
When it comes to depicting ill or disabled children, the ethics of representation becomes increasingly complex. The perception of photographs as voyeuristic and objectifying is of particular concern here and resonates with widespread fear about the eroticisation, mistreatment and exploitation of children. Although these fears are reasonable, this view does not take into account the voice and agenda of the photographic subject, disregards the possibility of recognition and the participatory nature of photography...
December 2, 2018: Health (London)
Fanny Edenroth-Cato
Discourse on the highly sensitive child as a mode of individual coming-into-being is transforming notions of good motherhood. Mothering a child is weighted with practical challenges, normative expectations, and moral implications, all of which can be accentuated when parenting a child that appears to differ from the average. How mothers address themselves to a highly sensitive child can reveal much about contemporary currents in family life. Through analysis of the online discussions in a Swedish forum, I examine mothers' discourse regarding categorization of highly sensitive children, elaboration on the behaviors that constitute this category of protean individuality, and the negotiation of motherhood norms...
November 20, 2018: Health (London)
Oli Williams, Ellen Annandale
The dominant obesity discourse which emphasises individual moral responsibility and lifestyle modification encourages weight-based stigma. Existing research overwhelmingly demonstrates that obesity stigma is an ineffective means by which to reduce the incidence of obesity and that it promotes weight-gain. However, the sensate experiences associated with the subjective experience of obesity stigma as a reflexively embodied phenomenon have been largely unexamined. This article addresses this knowledge gap by providing a phenomenological account...
November 14, 2018: Health (London)
Mary Adams, Jill Maben, Glenn Robert
This article draws from sociological and socio-legal studies of dispute between patients and doctors to examine how healthcare professionals made sense of patients' complaints about healthcare. We analyse 41 discursive interviews with professional healthcare staff working in eight different English National Health Service settings to explore how they made sense of events of complaint and of patients' (including families') motives for complaining. We find that for our interviewees, events of patients' complaining about care were perceived as a breach in fundamental relationships involving patients' trust or patients' recognition of their work efforts...
November 2018: Health (London)
Rik Wehrens, Bethany Hipple Walters
The ability of health-care professionals to understand the lived experiences of their patients has become increasingly important but has been a difficult topic to investigate empirically because it involves two distinctive research strands: interpretative phenomenological analysis and patient-provider communication. While interpretative phenomenological analysis focuses on experiences and illness narratives of patients, but not on therapist's understanding of those, patient-provider communication surveys focus primarily on effective forms of communication without addressing the actual illness experiences of patients...
November 2018: Health (London)
Emma Garnett, Judith Green, Zaid Chalabi, Paul Wilkinson
Societal impact is an increasingly important imperative of academic funding. However, there is little research to date documenting how impact is accomplished in practice. Drawing on insights from Actor-Network Theory, we explore the research-policy interface within an interdisciplinary research project on the relationships between air pollution and human health. Health policy impact was important to the researchers for moral as well as pragmatic reasons but it was a goal that was seen as potentially in tension with that of doing science...
October 12, 2018: Health (London)
Maria Orphanidou, Irini Kadianaki
Media offer people ways of understanding mental health and illness, shaping their attitudes and behaviour towards it. Yet, the literature on media representations of depression is limited and fails to illuminate sufficiently the content of representations. In times of financial crisis, the prevalence of depression is increased and the particular meanings associated with depression are widely diffused. To unpack these meanings, we focused on the Greek-Cypriot press during the financial crisis of 2013. Two-hundred and three articles from seven widely circulating newspapers were thematically analysed...
October 9, 2018: Health (London)
Brian Brown, Sally Baker
In this article, we examine the process of recovery in people who have undertaken treatment for mental health problems, based on interviews with 34 participants. We describe their experiences through the lens of social capital, focusing on the social networks and relationships within which they are embedded and which they utilise to give purpose and meaning to their lives. The accounts give sense of movement from relationships, institutions and networks which were provided through their engagement with services towards relationships outside the health care system which were more freely chosen and which provided a sense that they were able to achieve recognition and make a contribution...
September 28, 2018: Health (London)
Dominic Malcolm, Emma Pullen
This article draws on interview data with a population of non-elite sport/exercise participants (n = 20) to illustrate the interrelationship between biographical disruption and sport-related injury. It argues that contrary to the significance implied by their lack of prominence on current public health agendas, sport-related injuries can have a devastating personal impact, comparable to the more extreme variants of biographical disruption depicted in the literature on chronic illness. It seeks to explain the apparent incongruence between biophysical severity and subjective assessment of impact, by invoking notions of community normalisation and imagined futures, and identifying the unavailability of what subjects evaluate as effective medical support...
September 25, 2018: Health (London)
Wk Tim Wong, Alex Broom, Emma Kirby, Zarnie Lwin
Medical encounters - while often viewed as centred on conveying clinical knowledge - are also sites of emotion and for exerting emotional labour by healthcare professionals. The temptation to view these encounters as largely 'technical' - an exchange of knowledge or information - can marginalise the complex emotions often experienced by healthcare professionals, and negates the critical work done in these encounters. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 22 Australian medical oncologists, this article explores the experience and meaning of (their) emotions in medical encounters, and the manner in which emotional labour is performed by medical oncologists...
September 24, 2018: Health (London)
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