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News Media Functions in Policy Making

Canadian Journal of Communication/CCSP Press
Publication Date
  • Communication
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Medicine


Mobile Knowledge: HIV Patients’ Encounter with Endocrinology Mobile Knowledge: HIV Patients’ Encounter with Endocrinology Cindy Patton Simon Fraser University Abstract: Tracing the movement of new medical information from the labora- tory to individual consumers is a challenge to communications theorists and social scientists alike. This article adopts the position of the social study of med- icine, which takes into account the impact of people’s perceptions of disease on treatment decisions and outcomes, to locate instances of the movement of infor- mation—and its limitations—in a unique setting: a metabolic disorders clinic for HIV-positive patients. Analysis of data from a participatory observation study at the clinic reveals that the clinician, inculcated into endocrinology, must adapt new information to enable communication with patients, who hold a different view of the body heavily informed by virology. This adaptation also occurs in the reverse, as patients adjust their thinking to make room for new information that will directly impact their treatment decisions. Keywords: Doctor-patient communication; Clinical ethnography; HIV; Endocrinology; Social studies in medicine Résumé : Retracer le transfert de nouvelles informations médicales du labora- toire au consommateur pose un défi au théoricien en communication tout autant qu’au savant en sciences humaines. Cet article a recours aux études sociales en médecine, où l’on étudie les perceptions des gens à l’égard de la maladie et les effets de celle-ci sur les traitements, afin de situer des exemples de transferts d’information dans un emplacement singulier : une clinique pour les perturba- tions métaboliques qui traite les patients atteints du VIH. L’analyse de données provenant d’une observation participante menée à la clinique révèle que le clin- icien, avec son expertise en endocrinologie, doit reformuler de nouvelles infor- mations afin de mieux communiquer avec ses patients, car ces derniers ont sur le corps un poi

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