1st Edition

Patients Making Meaning Theorizing Sources of Information and Forms of Support in Women’s Health

    122 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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


    Bryna Siegel Finer is Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, where she serves as the Director of Undergraduate Writing Programs. She is the co-editor of Writing Program Architecture and Women’s Health Advocacy.

    Cathryn Molloy is Professor of Writing Studies in the English department at the University of Delaware, USA. She is the author of Rhetorical Ethos in Health and Medicine: Patient Credibility, Stigma, and Misdiagnosis and is co-editor of the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine journal.

    Jamie White-Farnham is Professor in the Writing Program at University of Wisconsin-Superior, USA, where she serves as Director of Teaching & Learning. She is the co-editor of Writing Program Architecture and Women’s Health Advocacy.