HCC talks February – University of Copenhagen

HCC talks February

Welcome to the HCC talks of February. The program for this month's  talks includes:

Naja Liengård Holten Møller

Diagnosing the uncertain. Issues arising from the case of uncertain diagnostic trajectories

Several issues arise from the diagnostic work, which precedes the occurrence of the suspicion that a patient has cancer. In this talk I will present my previous research in the area of diagnostic work. Exploring encounters between practitioners, organizations, practices, and protocols in the initial diagnostic work I unpack initial diagnostic work as a collaborative practice, and focus on issues related to collaboration. I use the particular example of uncertain diagnostic trajectories to understand the complexity of the situated practices of diagnosis and the whole that they form in terms of the overall work setup. Findings indicate that in terms of the categorization of patients with potential cancer a simple “before” and “after” distinction is not practically feasible when the course of diagnosis is uncertain. When symptoms of disease are unclear, disease categories emerge in the process of diagnosis. In order to handle such uncertainty, professionals rely on subtle categorizing (e.g., “patient lost 20 kg.”) in the medical information system rather than formal disease categories (e.g., “obs cancer”). The wrong use of formal categories has consequences for the individual patient, I argue, but also might increase the waiting times of potentially higher-risk patients.