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'I'll tell you what suits me best if you don't mind me saying': A sociological analysis of lay participation in healthcare

Allen, Davina Ann ORCID: 2000. 'I'll tell you what suits me best if you don't mind me saying': A sociological analysis of lay participation in healthcare. Nursing Inquiry 7 (3) , pp. 182-190. 10.1046/j.1440-1800.2000.00067.x

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‘I’ll tell you what suits me best if you don’t mind me saying’: ‘lay participation’ in health-careIncreasing ‘lay participation’ in healthcare has become a popular notion in recent years and is generally considered to be a good thing in both nursing and wider policy circles. Yet despite the widespread acceptance of this overall idea, there is a dearth of theorising in this area. This has resulted in a lack of conceptual clarity which has not only hamstrung the development of empirical work in the field, but has also led to a tendency by both nurses and policy-makers to assume that greater ‘lay participation’ in health will lead to a concomitant increase in lay power vis-à-vis health professionals. The data presented in this paper indicate that this is, at best, an over-simplistic assumption and, at worst, an erroneous one. Drawing on sociological theories of the division of labour, I suggest that one way in which we might begin to clarify our thinking in this area is by differentiating between the ‘role’ and ‘task’ components of ‘lay participation’. I illustrate my argument with reference to two separate ethnographic studies undertaken between 1994 and 1998 in which participation at the level of the individual was examined.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords: care; participation; partnerships; patient; sociology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1320-7881
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:21

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