Medical uncertainty is recognized as a critical issue in the sociology of diagnosis and medical sociology more generally, but a neglected focus of this concern is the question of patient decision making. Using a mixed methods approach that draws upon autoethnographic accounts and third-party interviews, we aim to illuminate the dilemmas of patient decision making in the face of uncertainty. How do patients and supportive caregivers go about navigating this state of affairs? What types of patient–doctor/healthcare professional relationships hinder or enhance effective patient decision making? These are the themes we explore in this study by following patients through the sequence of experiencing symptoms, seeking a diagnosis, evaluating treatment protocols, and receiving treatments. In general, three genres of culturally available narratives are revealed in the data: strategic, technoluxe, and unbearable health narratives.
Berger, R.J., Corroto, C., Flad, J. and Quinney, R. (2013), "Navigating the Terrain of Medical Diagnosis and Treatment: Patient Decision Making and Uncertainty", Denzin, N.K. (Ed.) 40th Anniversary of Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 40), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 363-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-2396(2013)0000040019
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