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Exercising 'soft closure' on lay health knowledge? Harnessing the declining power of the medical profession to improve online health information

Exercising 'soft closure' on lay health knowledge? Harnessing the declining power of the medical profession to improve online health information

Naghieh, Ali and Parvizi, Marzyeh (2016) Exercising 'soft closure' on lay health knowledge? Harnessing the declining power of the medical profession to improve online health information. Social Theory & Health, 14 (3). pp. 332-350. ISSN 1477-8211 (Print), 1477-822X (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1057/sth.2016.1)

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Abstract

This study aims to address the increasingly complex medical predicament of low quality online health information contributing to lay health knowledge and consequently to clinical outcomes. We situate the predicament within a social change paradigm of individualism, choice, diminishing medical power, and emergence of the legitimacy of lay health knowledge. We contend that the prominence of lay health knowledge has been facilitated by the internet, and is due to a surge in broadcasting of experiential knowledge coupled with increased access to and enactment of medical and non-medically sanctioned online information on health and illness. We draw on and further test the application of social closure theory to help conceive a potential solution to this enduring problem. We conduct a quality assessment of an indicative case study, Apicectomies, and test the application of our notion of soft closure on its findings, resulting in targeted, feasible and potentially beneficial solutions to increasing the medical quality of online health information. We further present the extant application of soft closure by Healthtalkonline.org, which collates a medically reliable set of experiential knowledge on a range of health issues. As such, we propose a constructive re-enactment of the traditional closure of the medical profession on medical knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lay knowledge; closure; online health information; medical profession; health information seeking; patient-provider communication
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Faculty of Business > Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Research Group (LOB)
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Research Group (LOB)
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 10:26
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19935

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