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Sociology of Health & Illness

Michelle Webster
Uncertainty has been highlighted as an important aspect of experiences of chronic conditions generally and epilepsy in particular. However, there is little research exploring the extent to which uncertainty features in the experiences of family members or the form that this uncertainty may take. Drawing on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 27 parents who had a child with epilepsy, this article explores parents' experiences of uncertainty and the way in which their views on childhood and epilepsy interacted and contributed to the uncertainties they experienced...
October 23, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Jennifer Lea
Bodywork - as work which takes the body as its immediate site of labour - includes forms of service work, healthcare and caring. While work on bodywork has undeniably foregrounded the body, at the same time it has worked with a relatively limited understanding of bodily knowledges and practices. This article uses a theoretical framework taken from writing on Non-Representational Theory, by Human Geographers, in order to take seriously 'alternative' body knowledge such as energy. The article draws on data from in-depth interviews conducted with therapeutic massage practitioners in order to take seriously the ways in which energy directs and shapes the work that these bodyworkers do, adding new empirical understandings of what working with energy entails...
October 22, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Catherine Coveney, Simon J Williams, Jonathan Gabe
In this paper we examine the medical management of sleeplessness as 'insomnia', through the eyes of general practitioners (GPs) and sleep experts in Britain. Three key themes were evident in the data. These related to (i) institutional issues around advocacy and training in sleep medicine (ii) conceptual issues in the diagnosis of insomnia (iii) and how these played out in terms of treatment issues. As a result, the bulk of medical management occurred at the primary rather than secondary care level. These issues are then reflected on in terms of the light they shed on relations between the medicalisation and the pharmaceuticalisation of sleeplessness as insomnia...
September 21, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Caroline Huyard, Harm Haak, Luc Derijks, Louis Lieverse
While the biographical dimensions of chronic illness have been well researched, the concrete dimensions of patients' work have not been as thoroughly investigated as yet. With the growing concern for self-management, such research would be timely. This study aims to better understand patients' invisible work by highlighting the causes of unintentional non-adherence as well as strategies for adherence. For this purpose, it defines medical treatment adherence as the repetition of the pattern of tasks through which a patient succeeds, in a technical sense, in taking the right medication at the right time, in the right amount, for the right duration...
September 16, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Heidrun Åm
Applications of biomedical R&D currently imply substantial societal concerns. This paper explores, based on semi-structured interviews with scientists in Norway, how biomedical researchers experience and tackle such concerns in their daily work. It shows how ritualised routine responses to dislocatory moments help maintain order in the daily work of the interviewed scientists; they do not address directly but instead smooth over concerns by a ritualised way of using ethics. This may foreclose substantive reflection and function as a stabiliser for 'business as usual'...
September 10, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Limor Meoded Danon
Recently, new laws and medical guidelines in many countries have prohibited early genital surgeries and irreversible medical treatment for intersexed babies. Following the passing of the German law that allows parents to register intersexed babies with no sex/gender, and after the establishment of new medical guidelines for intersexed patients in Israel, this study aims to examine the current medical policies regarding intersexed bodies at DSD centres and hospitals in Israel and Germany. How, if at all, have they changed the previous medical guidelines? This is a narrative study that includes 62 in-depth interviews with medical professionals, parents and intersexed people from Germany and Israel...
September 5, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Angèle Bilodeau, Marilène Galarneau, Chantal Lefebvre, Louise Potvin
After 25 years of intersectoral practice to increase health promotion resources, there is little scientific literature linking analysis of processes to observation of effects. Applying Actor-Network Theory, this article examines how the effects of intersectoral action are produced and can be attributed to its processes. A prospective multiple case study (2013-2016) was conducted on Neighbourhood Committees (NCs) in Montreal (Canada). Three NCs were studied using four kinds of data: direct observation notes of meetings and events, documents, logbooks and interviews...
September 4, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Martyn Pickersgill
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Marc Alexander, Daniel Blackburn, Markus Reuber
One of the most commonly made diagnoses in secondary care memory services is functional memory disorder (FMD). FMD is non-progressive and characterised by persistent worries about memory failures without objective evidence of cognitive impairment. This study explores how patients with FMD present their memory concerns. Utilizing video recordings of consultations between patients and neurologists in a memory clinic, we show that FMD patients account for their memory deficits as significant disruptions to their daily lives...
August 31, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Emily Ross
A large body of literature engages with personal accounts of pregnancy to illustrate the subjugation of women's embodied experience by practices of biomedicine. This article explores this issue through women's accounts of sensing initial foetal movement, drawn from qualitative interviews with 15 women resident in the UK. Participants depict this aspect of pregnant embodiment as ambiguous and indefinite, in contrast to clinical and popular representations of foetal movement. In highlighting the uncertainties characteristic of this corporeal event, the article adds to literature destabilising understandings of pregnant women's and foetal bodies as bounded and distinct...
August 31, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Jonna Brenninkmeijer
This article analyses the material of a European Project on Responsible Research and Innovation in Neuroenhancement (NERRI) to explore how the brain is articulated in this field. Since brains are closely connected to ideas of self, responsibility, free will and being human, and since brain metaphors have important effects on research practices and perspectives, it also matters how people talk about and use the brain. In the NERRI project, the brain is articulated as an agent interacting with or substituting the self; as a system that can, cannot or should not be analysed; and as the part of oneself that can potentially change human nature in positive and negative ways...
August 28, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Rhonda M Shaw
Social scientists have recently diverged from mainstream bioethical discussion on the topic of the medical use of human biological materials for therapeutic, reproductive and research purposes. Rather than justifying the donation and provision of biological materials solely in terms of alleviating physical, psychological and social suffering, saving or enhancing life, and advancing biomedical knowledge, this work looks beyond humanist bioethics to take a social justice approach to questions of the life sciences...
August 28, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Korhonen Maija, Komulainen Katri
Being on sick leave due to burnout entails a high level of accountability. Persons suffering from burnout do not automatically play a legitimate sick role because of the fuzziness of the burnout concept. In addition, while being on sick leave, they are in a non-working position, which is against the ideals of work-centred society. Therefore, they are required to explain their 'deviant' situation. Drawing on the interview data, the article explores how sick leave is explained and justified in narrative accounts by Finnish burnout sufferers...
August 26, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Susanna Trnka, Tereza Stöckelová
A. L. Cochrane's Effectiveness and Efficiency frequently appears as a key reference in debates over, and a justification for, contemporary evidence-based medicine. Cochrane's concern in this text with the equality of care as the ultimate rationale for why effectiveness and efficiency of cure are needed has, however, largely disappeared from debate. In this article, we reconsider Cochrane's approach through the use of case studies of plural forms of medicine in the Czech Republic, namely traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy and spa care...
August 26, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Oscar J Maldonado Castañeda
This paper analyses the tensions between scientific literature and systematic reviews in the production of evidence in healthcare. Systematic reviews are devices developed - within evidence-based medicine - to navigate the complexities of scientific literature promising a clear and simple account of the knowledge on a particular issue. However, in practice, systematic reviews have a more complex relation with literature. Systematic reviews are shaped according to the interest of the local groups that produce them...
August 23, 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Luca Chiapperino, Francesco Panese
Our paper explores the value-laden and epistemic resources that scientists working in epigenetics and developmental programming of health and disease (DOHaD) mobilise to produce scientific representations of pregnancy and parenthood, which in turn imagine norms, values, and responsibilities for the protection of future generations. In order to do so, we first describe the place of questions regarding the relative weight of paternal and maternal influences on the health of the offspring in the discursive formalisation of this research in scientific publications...
September 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Paul Bissell, Marian Peacock, Michelle Holdsworth, Katie Powell, John Wilcox, Angie Clonan
This study explores the ways in which social networks might shape accounts about food practices. Drawing on insights from the work of Christakis and Fowler () whose claims about the linkages between obesity and social networks have been the subject of vigorous debate in the sociological literature, we present qualitative data from a study of women's' accounts of social networks and food practices, conducted in Nottingham, England. We tentatively suggest that whilst social networks in their broadest sense, might shape what was perceived to be normal and acceptable in relation to food practices (and provide everyday discursive resources which normalise practice), the relationship between the two is more complex than the linear relationship proposed by Christakis and Fowler...
September 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Benedetta Cappellini, Vicki Harman, Elizabeth Parsons
This study investigates how mothers respond to school surveillance of their children's packed lunches. In a context where increasing attention is focused on healthy eating, we adopt a biopedagogical approach to illustrate different positions and strategies which mothers occupy in relation to feeding their children in the school setting. We use photo-elicitation interviews and focus groups to trace both the discursive and practical significance of these biopedagogies. We find that the subjective experiences of feeding children at school are infused with classed notions of mothering in public...
September 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
Gregory Hollin, Alison Pilnick
Many characteristics typical of autism, a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by socio-communicative impairments, are most evident during social interaction. Accordingly, procedures such as the Autism Diagnosis Observation Schedule (ADOS) are interactive and intended to elicit interactional impairments: a diagnosis of autism is given if interactional difficulties are attributed as a persistent quality of the individual undergoing diagnosis. This task is difficult, first, because behaviours can be interpreted in various ways and, second, because conversation breakdown may indicate a disengagement with, or resistance to, a line of conversation...
September 2018: Sociology of Health & Illness
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