Public lecture

Sharing support and sharing knowledge : a closer look at patient fora on diabetes

  • 1 June 2022
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Virtual IAS

IAS Visiting Fellow Barbara De Cock delivers a seminar on her research. 

"Online healthcare communication, though not always widely endorsed by healthcare professionals, is taking an ever more important place in peoples’ lives. This tendency has only be reinforced by the covid-19 pandemic and its impact on in-person healthcare interactions. Among the wide variety of online sources concerning health, patient fora hold a particular place. They have often been studied mainly for the emotional support they may offer, but they are also loci for sharing experiential knowledge.

In this presentation, I will focus on patient fora on diabetes, looking into how users interact and discursively construct their relationship to their condition. I will pay particular attention to the role of peer experts (viz. patients who are not trained in healthcare but who have acquired expertise and are regarded as such by their peers) to discursively construct shared understanding. Furthermore, I will discuss how patients themselves represent their relationship with healthcare professionals. Ultimately, this type of patient fora is increasingly part of everyday life for (part of) the patients and thus merits further analysis."

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Kieran Teasdale
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