'Are my bones normal doctor?' the role of technology in understanding and communicating health risks for midlife women
Green, Eileen, Griffiths, Frances and Thompson, Di. (2006) 'Are my bones normal doctor?' the role of technology in understanding and communicating health risks for midlife women. SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE, 11 (4). -. ISSN 1360-7804Full text not available from this repository.
Contemporary medical science is increasingly saturated with risk and uncertainty, uncertainty which health professionals are obliged to manage in everyday consultation situations, but which patients presenting with specific health problems, want resolution to. This paper provides an overview of literature concerning the medicalization of women's bodies via health interventions such as screening, including the role played by medical technologies in defining degrees and forms of risk and uncertainty which are embedded within and generated by the screening processes themselves. We draw upon an ESRC funded study into the use of health technologies in women's midlife, in order to demonstrate how empirical research can illuminate the links between screening for osteoporosis and the recommendation and subsequent decision by women to use therapies such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The paper explores the centrality of bone densitometry in decision-making about potential risk. Drawing mainly upon data from 24 consultations in specialist clinics, 10 follow up interviews with the women concerned and 7 interviews with linked health professionals, we focus upon the interpretation and significance of the bone scan results. We conclude that, although the technological results are open to flexible interpretation, they seem to confirm the 'at risk' status of many of the women. The scan results appear to assume centre-stage in the consultation discussions, leading both women and clinicians to over interpret their significance as an indicator of risk.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE|
|Publisher:||SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD|
|Date:||20 December 2006|
|Number of Pages:||24|
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