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Persistent health complaints pose communicative dilemmas in care encounters, adversely affecting patient experiences and pathways. Little is known about the impact and role of professionals in encounters with young people with incipient, debilitating, and persistent symptoms. This study aims to explore communicative dilemmas and the role of language in care provided by local professionals in high school settings, municipal services, and general practice to young people presenting persistent bodily complaints. The study is based on in-depth individual interviews conducted from April to July 2016 with 12 professionals identified and selected during anthropological multi-sited fieldwork in a Norwegian community. We identify two modalities of what we have chosen to call 'careful expression', used as strategies across professions to overcome communicative dilemmas. Professionals reflexively and pragmatically negotiated with the powers of language to influence illness experience and to enact empowered young subjects. These insights may prove relevant for future studies of care encounters while also indicating a critical attitude to institutional logics that affect care responses.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Health & social care in the community
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Professionals who work with persons affected by social disadvantages such as POVERTY; mental and physical illness or disability, and social injustice. Their focus is on both the individual and his or her environment, including violations of their civil liberties and human rights.
Professionals responsible for teaching in an institution or place of learning such as a school, college, vocational institute, or university.
The branch of psychology concerned with psychological aspects of teaching and the formal learning process in school.
Professionals qualified by education at an accredited school of nursing and licensed by state law to practice nursing. They provide services to patients requiring assistance in recovering or maintaining their physical or mental health.
A personality trait rendering the individual acceptable in social or interpersonal relations. It is related to social acceptance, social approval, popularity, social status, leadership qualities, or any quality making him a socially desirable companion.