Medical encounters are interactional/interpersonal processes taking place within contexts shaped by macro-level social structures. In the case of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), medical encounters occur at a stigmatized crossroads of social control and gendered norms of sexual behavior. When women are diagnosed and treated for chronic STDs, practitioner demeanor has an important impact on how patients will view not only their health status but also their moral status. This chapter draws on in depth interviews with 40 women diagnosed with genital infections of herpes and/or human papillomavirus (HPV – the cause of genital warts) to explore three models of patient–practitioner interaction. The analysis focuses on the relationship between gender, construction of illness, and practitioner interaction style. In a broader context, the health risks posed by particular interaction styles to female STD patients shed light on larger public health implications of combining morality with medicine for the broader range of patients with stigmatizing diagnoses.
Nack, A. (2008), "From the patient's point of view: Practitioner interaction styles in the treatment of women with chronic STD", Jacobs Kronenfeld, J. (Ed.) Care for Major Health Problems and Population Health Concerns: Impacts on Patients, Providers and Policy (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0275-4959(08)26005-9Download as .RIS
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