Expertise and metaphors in health communication

Medicina and Storia 9:91-108 (2016)
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Abstract
The paper focuses on the kind of expertise required by doctors in health communication and argues that such an expertise is twofold: both epistemological and communicative competences are necessary to achieve compliance with the patient. Firstly, we introduce the specific epistemic competences that deal with diagnosis and its problems. Secondly, we focus on the communicative competences and argue that an inappropriate strategy in communicating the reasons of diagnosis and therapy can make patient compliance unworkable. Finally, we focus on the case of diabetes metaphor and propose the deliberate use of metaphors in health communication as an educational tool. On the one hand, metaphors might help doctors in explaining the disease in simpler terms and framing the experience of illness according to patient’s specific needs. On the other hand, metaphors might encourage a change in patient’s beliefs on their own experience of illness, and enable them to reach a shared decision making with doctors.
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Archival date: 2017-03-20
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2017-02-27

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