Patients-in-waiting or chronically healthy individuals? : People with elevated cholesterol talk about risk

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Jauho , M 2019 , ' Patients-in-waiting or chronically healthy individuals? People with elevated cholesterol talk about risk ' , Sociology of Health & Illness , vol. 41 , no. 5 , pp. 867-881 . https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12866

Title: Patients-in-waiting or chronically healthy individuals? : People with elevated cholesterol talk about risk
Author: Jauho, Mikko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Centre for Consumer Society Research
Date: 2019-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: Sociology of Health & Illness
ISSN: 0141-9889
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303525
Abstract: Risk adopts an ambiguous position between health and illness/disease and is culturally salient in various health-related everyday practices. Previous research on risk experience has mostly focused on the illness/disease side of this risk ambiguity. Persons at risk have typically been defined as patients (of some kind) and their condition as a form of proto-illness. To allow for the cultural proliferation of health risk and to account for the health side of risk ambiguity, I chose to focus on elevated cholesterol, a condition both intensely medicalised and connected to the everyday practice of eating, among participants (n = 14) recruited from a consumer panel and approached not as patients, but as individuals concerned about their cholesterol. Utilising the biographical disruption framework developed by Bury, I show how the risk experience of my participants differed from the chronic illness experience. Instead of patients-in-waiting suffering from a proto-illness, they presented themselves as 'chronically healthy individuals' (Varul 2010), actively trying to avoid becoming patients through a responsible regimen of personal health care. The results call for a more nuanced approach to the risk experience, which accounts for both sides of the risk ambiguity.
Subject: cardiovascular disease
cholesterol
chronic illness
lay experiences
lifestyle
risk
CORONARY-HEART-DISEASE
CHRONIC ILLNESS
LIFE-STYLE
PREVENTION
EXPERIENCE
MEDICALIZATION
EPIDEMIOLOGY
KNOWLEDGE
FAMILY
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
5141 Sociology
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