My Throat ”Tickles”
Bodies in Affective Discourse in Patient–Doctor Email Consultations
Keywords:Digital consultation, E-consultation, Affect, Doctor, Patient, Bodies, Data vitality, Digital health, Participatiion
This article investigates the multiple ways in which bodies present themselves in email consultations (econs) between patients and general practitioners (GPs). The data stem from a larger qualitative research project on digital consultation in Denmark, focusing on the 65+ age group. Our analysis departs from a sociotechnical perspective by considering the introduction of the technology in question – the econ between the patient and GP – as creating new challenges and opportunities for participation in and the exchange of communication within this relationship. Our analysis leads to a six-category typology of bodies in affective discourse in econs: sensations, emotions, countings, medication, visuals and movements. The analysis brings together a theoretical perspective, the mutual shapings of the social and technological, with an affective practice-based approach. The econ produces what we call an “unruly data vitality”, as the data are accessed and recombined in the larger digital ecosystem of the Danish primary care sector.
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