Category: Sociology of Health & Illness

Pregnancy and childbirth in prison

“I’ve got baggy tops, so I just always have to hide my bump, and like most people couldn’t recognise that I’m pregnant, so that’s a good thing”. With a prison population of approximately 9000 women in England, it is estimated that approximately 600 pregnancies and 100 births occur annually.  Despite there being an extensive literature on the sociology of reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth, there has been scarce qualitative research looking specifically at pregnant prisoners. Our recently published open access paper:...

Vaccine frictions – one rationality does not fit all

This blog piece highlights some points of my on-going multi-sited research project on HPV vaccination in Finland. The findings presented are based on my open access research article, What kind of ‘a girls’ thing’?, published in Sociology of Health and Illness. When you are vaccinated, you get protection against the cancer‐causing HP virus. On the front page of the Finnish HPV vaccination campaign site. That vaccine protects from papillomavirus (not directly even from cervical cancer), which is very effectively prevented...

The impact of care farms on quality of life, depression and anxiety among different population groups: A systematic review

This is a plain language summary for a new Systematic Review published in Campbell Systematic Reviews, aimed at understanding the impact of care farming on quality of life, depression and anxiety, on a range of service user groups. Care farming is the therapeutic use of agricultural and farming practices. People value the farms, but the evidence on their effectiveness is limited. What is this review about? Care farming (also called social farming) is the therapeutic use of agricultural and farming...

Against false dichotomies in the politics and ethics of big data exploitations in public healthcare

Care.data was so short-lived. Announced in 2013 and scrapped 3 years later, it was never actually given the chance to serve its purposes and prove how it differed from other ‘revolutionary’ state health data research services. However, someone has only to read the transcripts of the special Health Committee to understand the confusion of the public, healthcare professionals and state institutions in England around this big data programme: how achievable it was, who could deliver it, to whose benefit or...

Digital Health: Sociological Perspectives

Digital technologies are increasingly being developed, implemented and used in the delivery of health and care, contributing to potentially disruptive changes in how healthcare is practised and experienced by health professionals, patients and those within their wider care networks. The following extract is from the introduction to a new special issue of Sociology of Health and Illness, edited by Flis Henwood and Benjamin Marent, now free to access until the end of 2019: ‘Digital health’ is both easy and hard...

Sociology Of Health & Illness New Writer’s Prize 2019

2019 Prize Winner The Editorial Board would like to offer their congratulations to Jane S. VanHeuvelen, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA, who is the winner of the Sociology of Health & Illness 2019 Mildred Blaxter New Writer’s Prize. The winning article ‘Isolation or interaction: healthcare provider experience of design change‘ is available to read here. In her article, VanHeuvelen explores how changes in the design of healthcare facilities are experienced by providers. Employing an inhabited institutionalist theoretical framework, and drawing on ethnographic and...

Transforming Despair into Hope

It is a feature of qualitative research that behind every published paper is a pile of data, fieldnotes, and ideas that never make it into the finished text.  Nevertheless, many of these ideas and observations, culled along the way, will have played an important role in shaping the final analysis.  It is some of these thoughts and observations, not formally presented in this paper and its companion piece – Towards a new perspective on deliberate self-harm in an area of...

Update: Us too! Why it’s time to give female death by suicide some serious sociological attention!

It is almost a year since I wrote this original blog post, linking to my research paper, An exploration of integrated data on the social dynamics of suicide among women, published in Sociology of Health & Illness. Statistics published since then show that as the overall suicide rate in the UK continues to show a downward trend, the rate of suicide among young girls aged 15-19, grew to its highest rate since records began in 1981 (Mohdin, 2018).  The National...

Doing ‘being on the edge’: the dilemma of being authentically suicidal in an online forum

This blog post summarises the main themes and concerns highlighted in the 2009 paper ‘Doing being ‘on the edge’: managing the dilemma of being authentically suicidal in an online forum’. The paper begins by outlining research into suicide and highlights that research into suicidal identities from a discursive perspective has not been widely established. The research demonstrates how discursive psychology can be useful in examining how suicidal identities can be built up in internet interaction. Using discursive psychology, suicidal identities...

Special Collection in Support of World Suicide Prevention Day: 10 September 2019

Tuesday 10th September 2019 is World Suicide Prevention Day #WSPD, created by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). In support of #WSPD, we have published a mini collection of articles linking to original research from Sociology of Health & Illness journal: Doing ‘being on the edge’: the dilemma of being authentically suicidal in an online forumArticle by Judith Horne to accompany 2009 paper, Doing being ‘on the edge’: managing the dilemma of being authentically suicidal in an online forum Update:...

Risks and responsibility: Navigating the long-term care of bariatric patients

“Concerns are rising about the late adverse events following gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.” So opens the abstract of an article recently published in the Lancet detailing the results of a nationwide, observational, population-based, cohort study in France. In this study, researchers compared nearly 9,000 bariatric patients with matched controls looking at outcomes for both mortality and morbidity (specifically: gastrointestinal disorders with the need for endoscopy or surgery; gastrointestinal disorders without the need for these interventions; nutritional disorders, and psychiatric...

‘Cloud chasers’ and ‘substitutes’: e-cigarettes, vaping subcultures and vaper identities

The social meaning of e-cigarettes and vaping involves a vaping subculture, ideas about health through harm reduction, pleasure and community, as well as addiction and stigma. Some use e-cigarettes to quit smoking; others thrive in the flavoured clouds. In addition, there is a ‘split vision’ of health and stigma in the perceptions of vaping where the vaper identities are constantly negotiated. The use of e-cigarettes has increased and moved beyond a cessation-only practice, were vaping has started to serve social,...

Effects of trauma‐informed approaches in schools: A systematic review

This is a Plain Language Summary of an Open Access Systematic Review published in Campbell Systematic Reviews originally published on 17 July 2019 The review in brief Despite growing support and increased rate of which trauma‐informed approaches are being promoted and implemented in schools, evidence to support this approach is lacking. What is this review about? Exposure to different types of trauma have been associated with varying types and complexity of adverse outcomes, including adverse effects on cognitive functioning, attention,...

Politics of Categorization: Race and Blood

In a recent article for The New York Times, British journalist Rose George makes the case that the Red Cross needs to reassess its policy of desegregating blood based on race and ethnicity. She also argues that blood collection services need to develop initiatives to attract a more diverse pool of blood given the dearth of minority donors. George draws on the sympathetic case of a young child, Zainab, whose cancer treatment requires a rare form of blood common amongst...

Agency and structure: the impact of ethnic identity and racism on the health of ethnic minority people

Powerful people have a significant impact on our lives. Not only can their decisions affect our access to wealth, and consequent well-being, but their influence affects our very self-definition and expression. Understandings about who we are and what that means develop in light of the ways in which certain categories are understood in and responded to by wider society: what we’re told about what ‘being one of those sorts of people’ means. But while academic studies acknowledge the societal or...

First People Lost: New Statistics Show Alarming Patterns in Indigenous Death Rates in Canada

  The Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has wrapped up its hearings and is scheduled to deliver its final report early next month. The Inquiry examines some of the most extreme outcomes of violence and marginalization of Indigenous women and girls, however the factors affecting their livelihood and life expectancy extends beyond these extreme outcomes and recent research suggests there may not be cause for optimism unless there is systemic change. A research study...