This book explores how women make meaning at various health flashpoints in their lives, overcoming fear, anxiety, and anger to draw upon self-advocacy, research, and crucial decision-making.
Combining focus group research, content analysis, autoethnography, and textual inquiry, the book argues that the making and remaking of what we call “patient epistemologies” is a continual process wherein a health flashpoint—sometimes a new diagnosis, sometimes a reoccurrence or worsening of an existing condition or the progression of a natural process—can cause an individual to be thrust into a discourse community that was not of their own choosing.
This study will interest students and scholars of health communication, rhetoric of health and medicine, women’s studies, public health, healthcare policy, philosophy of medicine, medical sociology, and medical humanities.
Chapter 1: Starting from Friendship and Rhetoric: An Introduction to Patient Epistemology
Chapter 2: Toward a Theory of Patient Epistemologies: How Health Flashpoints Engender Cyclical Rhetorical and Identity Work
Chapter 3: Searching for Meaning and Support: What Women with Breast Cancer Say
Chapter 4: Entering the Conversation: Rhetorical Encounters with a Stagnated Menopause Discourse
Chapter 5: Making Sense of Sobriety as a Woman: Expanding Options for Patient Epistemologies
Chapter 6: A Rhetorical Autoethnographic Sketch of Patient Epistemology
Chapter 7: Afterword: Looking to the Future of Patient Epistemology