RSF: Are you sure?


The Research Support Funding scheme supported 13 short (six-month) projects that complemented and extended the Centre’s research themes: Transforming Institutions, Transforming Engagement, Transforming Health across the life course and Transforming Relations.


Are you sure? Diagnosis, truth and configurations of power

In this project, we explored how the use of terms such as ‘truth’ and ‘certainty’ are associated with the task of diagnosis. We looked specifically at the representation of diagnosis by diagnosticians but also in popular culture. We investigated how this representation uses these authoritative terms to reinforce the transformative power of diagnosis and to protect medicine’s social status and control.

We held a small, international, multi-disciplinary workshop to explore the concepts, scope a broader, multi-phase project, and develop a brief for a multi-media exhibit. We hope to use the networks and learning from this workshop to create follow-on application to the Wellcome Trust to empirically explore patient experiences and institutional settings of diagnosis and medical certainty and uncertainty.

Patient representatives were involved in the workshop and we hope will continue to be involved at all stages of the research, through PenPIG, with which we have worked previously, and through the Patients Association UK.

Project Partners

Susan Kelly, Annemarie Jutel

Read the workshop report: Diagnosis and Truth

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