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Health (London)

Selena E Ortiz, Ichiro Kawachi, Angie M Boyce
This article examines how the medicalization of obesity validates the use of bariatric surgery to treat obesity in the United States and how expansions in access to bariatric surgery normalize surgical procedures as disease treatment and prevention tools. Building on this discussion, the article poses two questions for population health regarding health technology: (1) to what extent does bariatric surgery treat obesity in the United States while diverting attention away from the ultimate drivers of the epidemic and (2) to what extent does bariatric surgery improve outcomes for some groups in the US population while simultaneously generating disparities? We conduct a brief, historical analysis of the American Medical Association's decision to reclassify obesity as a disease through internal documents, peer-reviewed expert reports, and major media coverage...
August 16, 2016: Health (London)
Jake Rance, Tim Rhodes, Suzanne Fraser, Joanne Bryant, Carla Treloar
Despite the majority of needle-syringe sharing occurring between sexual partners, the intimate partnerships of people who inject drugs have been largely overlooked as key sites of both hepatitis C virus prevention and transmission, and risk management more generally. Drawing on interviews with 34 couples living in inner-city Australia, this article focuses on participants' accounts of 'sharing'. While health promotion discourses and conventional epidemiology have tended to interpret the practice of sharing (like the absence of condom use) in terms of 'noncompliance', we are interested in participants' socially and relationally situated 'rationalities'...
August 3, 2016: Health (London)
Simon M Dyson, Waqar Iu Ahmad, Karl Atkin
The moral turn within sociology suggests that we need to be attentive to values and have a rapprochement with philosophy. The study of illness narratives is one area of sociology that has consistently addressed itself to moral domains but has tended to focus on stories of living with genetic or chronic illness per se rather than liminal states such as genetic traits. This article takes the case of genetic carriers within racialized minority groups, namely, those with sickle cell or thalassaemia trait, and takes seriously the notion that their narratives are ethical practices In line with the work of Paul Ricoeur, such storied practices are found to link embodiment, social relationships with significant others and wider socio-cultural and socio-political relations...
August 3, 2016: Health (London)
Joana Almeida
This article analyses strategies of closure recently enacted by complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in order to achieve occupational control over work domains in healthcare, taking Portugal as an example. A combination of the neo-Weberian occupational closure theory of the professions and Abbott's jurisdictional vacancy theory is proposed as the framework for analysis. Acupuncture and homeopathy will be presented as case studies. Data are derived from in-depth interviews with 10 traditional acupuncturists and 10 traditional homeopaths...
September 2016: Health (London)
Chris Degeling, Stacy M Carter, Lucie Rychetnik
General practitioners have implicitly been given responsibility for guiding men's decisions about prostate-specific antigen-based screening for prostate cancer, but patients' expectations of the bounds of this responsibility remain unclear. We sought to explore how well-informed members of the public allocate responsibilities in prostate-specific antigen screening decision-making. In 2014, we convened two Community juries in Sydney, Australia, to address questions related to the content and timing of information provision and respective roles of patients and general practitioners in screening decisions...
September 2016: Health (London)
Thomas Eugene Bertorelli
Although neuroimaging is currently not a component of the diagnostic process for autism spectrum disorders, some scientists hail these technologies for their promise to one day replace behaviorally based psychiatric diagnostic techniques. This article examines how psychiatrists understand the potential use of neuroimaging technologies within the context of clinical practice. Drawing on 10 semi-structured interviews with child and adolescent psychiatrists, I describe the hope and doubt that comprise their discourse of ambivalence...
September 2016: Health (London)
Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, Ming Lim, Søren Askegaard
This article focuses on contemporary responses to public health messages in Denmark, a country whose system of social welfare is, like that of the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, undergoing increasing levels of marketization and privatization. Drawing primarily upon Robert Crawford's analysis of healthism as a neoliberal project, the aim of this article is to develop critical understandings of how individuals respond both bodily and emotionally to ideologies of health and the body in the context of a changing marketplace for the consumption of health and its messages...
September 2016: Health (London)
Rebecca Lynch, Simon Cohn
Self-monitoring, by which individuals record and appraise ongoing information about the status of their body in order to improve their health, has been a key element in the personal management of conditions such as diabetes, but it is now also increasingly used in relation to health-associated behaviours. The introduction of self-monitoring as an intervention to change behaviour is intended to provide feedback that can be used by individuals to both assess their status and provide ongoing support towards a goal that may be formally set or remains implicit...
September 2016: Health (London)
Josh Bain, Heide Weishaar, Sean Semple, Sheila Duffy, Shona Hilton
Following restrictions on smoking in vehicles carrying children in several countries, legislation to safeguard minors from second-hand smoke exposure in vehicles is under-consideration or has been implemented across the United Kingdom. This article presents the first investigation into social constructions of children, smokers and smoking parents in newsprint media and coverage of debates about protecting children from exposure to second-hand smoke in vehicles. Using Scotland as an example, articles on children's exposure to second-hand smoke published between 1 January 2004 and 16 February 2014 in three Scottish newspapers were identified using Nexis UK...
July 24, 2016: Health (London)
Esmée Hanna, Brendan Gough
Relatively little research on infertility focuses exclusively or significantly on men's experiences, particularly in relation to emotional aspects. Evidence that does exist around male infertility suggests that it is a distressing experience for men, due to stigma, threats to masculinity and the perceived need to suppress emotions, and that men and women experience infertility differently. Using thematic analysis, this article examines the online emoting of men in relation to infertility via forum posts from a men-only infertility discussion board...
July 2016: Health (London)
Inger Ekman
For too long, medical/psychiatric and psychological studies, with focus on emotional sensitivity, personality traits, and correlation with psychopathology, have dominated research on self-injuring acts. The phenomenon thus has been defined as a predominantly medical issue. However, a large body of community prevalence studies show self-injuring acts to be a common phenomenon in society, and most of those who self-injure are unknown in psychiatric or other clinical settings. This article describes and analyzes the medicalization of self-injuring acts and argues a need to move research on self-injuring acts out of the medical paradigm...
July 2016: Health (London)
Jan Grue
The concept of careers has an extensive history in the sociology of health and illness. Among other things, the notion of a career has been used to describe the changing identities of patients diagnosed with mental illness, to identify distinct stages in the progression of various illnesses, and to recognize the cooperative efforts of hospitalized patients. However, the career concept may be reanalyzed as part of an analytical metaphor that makes salient both the agency of people with illnesses and the social structures in which they are enmeshed...
July 2016: Health (London)
John I MacArtney
Having a 'balanced lifestyle' is often promoted as one way to manage the competing demands of contemporary life. For people with cancer, those demands are often multiplied, particularly when they use self-health approaches that seek to bring together an array of biomedical and complementary and alternative medicine therapies and practices. Yet, how balance is used in this complex healthcare milieu and the affects it has on experiences of illness are less well understood. In order to follow the polyphonic narratives involved, two case studies of women with breast cancer who used cancer self-health approaches were analysed...
July 2016: Health (London)
David Pilgrim
The relationship between the arts and health is now of interest to policy makers, patients, professionals and health researchers. This article historicises the potential for holism, a current aspiration within the medical humanities. This contemporary debate in the research community reflects philosophical positions about idealism and realism, with their traceable historical roots. This article summarises those roots and draws attention to their current relevance for health researchers. Starting with the recognition within the medical humanities that biomedical reductionism now attracts criticism, it moves to exploring the history of ideas in philosophy, the arts and science about holism and the challenge of researching health and illness within the complexity of being fully human...
July 2016: Health (London)
Julie Robert
Philanthropic temporary sobriety initiatives such as Dry July, FebFast and Ocsober have become increasingly popular in Australia and have begun to spread to other locations both for their fundraising potential and as a grassroots public health measure to promote more responsible attitudes to alcohol consumption. This article presents findings from a series of in-depth, post-campaign interviews with FebFast 2014 participants and staff about how these campaigns can be understood as a form of public pedagogy or non-traditional learning that purposefully cultivates and suggests health-promoting meanings for embodied experience...
July 2016: Health (London)
Janne Huovila, Sampsa Saikkonen
What constitutes healthy eating is experiencing ongoing public debate, and this debate is increasingly taking place on the Internet. In this article, using a dialectical approach to analyse rhetorical discourse, we investigated how six highly popular Finnish nutrition counselling bloggers construct dietetic credibility and understanding. Their argumentation is compared to that of two academic experts contributing to the blog of the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Theoretically, we draw on Michael Billig's notions on how thinking and understanding are pervasively argumentative and reflect wider socio-cultural contexts, and on the dilemmatic nature of common sense...
July 2016: Health (London)
Rusi Jaspal, Brigitte Nerlich
Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a novel biomedical HIV prevention option for individuals at high risk of HIV acquisition. Although pre-exposure prophylaxis has yielded encouraging results in various clinical trials, opponents argue that pre-exposure prophylaxis poses a number of risks to human health and to sexually transmitted infection prevention efforts. Using qualitative thematic analysis and social representation theory, this article explores coverage of pre-exposure prophylaxis in the UK print media between 2008 and 2015 in order to chart the emerging social representations of this novel HIV prevention strategy...
May 22, 2016: Health (London)
Dimitrinka Atanasova, Nelya Koteyko
By featuring news articles highlighting certain aspects of obesity and backgrounding others, the media can frame these aspects as especially applicable to how obesity should be understood and addressed. Despite the highest rates in Europe, news reports from Britain and Germany have come under little scholarly scrutiny. In this article, we explore frames and their frequency of use in British and German online newspapers. Our findings reveal a dominant cross-national framing of obesity in terms of 'self-control', which places a more pronounced emphasis on individual responsibility than demonstrated by earlier studies and may contribute to a culture of weight bias and stigma...
May 19, 2016: Health (London)
Candice Oster, Julie Henderson, Sharon Lawn, Richard Reed, Suzanne Dawson, Eimear Muir-Cochrane, Jeffrey Fuller
Mental health care for older people is a significant and growing issue in Australia and internationally. This article describes how older people's mental health is governed through policy discourse by examining Australian Commonwealth and South Australian State government policy documents, and commentaries from professional groups, advocacy groups and non-governmental organisations. Documents published between 2009 and 2014 were analysed using a governmentality approach, informed by Foucault. Discourses of 'risk', 'ageing as decline/dependence' and 'healthy ageing' were identified...
May 4, 2016: Health (London)
Olaug S Lian, Anne Helen Hansen
Bodily conditions that are difficult to identify, explain and treat with the aid of medical knowledge and technology appear to be particularly challenging to medical encounters. Patients are often dissatisfied with the help they receive, and they often experience that their medical needs are not met. To explore factors facilitating patient satisfaction among patients with a medically unexplained condition, we ask: what is the importance of individual versus relational factors in facilitating patient satisfaction in clinical encounters between general practitioners (GPs) and women with medically unexplained long-term fatigue? We approach this question through a statistical analysis of survey data collected from a net sample of 431 women recruited through a patient organisation for people suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis in 2013...
May 2016: Health (London)
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