chapter  18
13 Pages

Explaining Illness: Issues Concerning the Co-Construction of Explications

ByTeresa L. Thompson, Bryan B. Whaley, Anne M. Stone

The central function of all medical systems is to give meaning to illness by naming and defi ning its cause (Stoeckle & Barsky, 1980). The goal of much health communication, then, is explaining illness. There is much to be said about this topic (see Whaley, 2000). One critical issue that arises in regard to explaining illness that has received recent scholarly attention is how providers and patients co-construct the explaining illness interaction. The present analysis will describe the need for illness explanations to provide a framework for better understanding the role of co-construction of explanations between providers and patients. The chapter concludes with attention to future directions for research on explaining illness.