The online use of Violence and Journey metaphors by patients with cancer, as compared with health professionals:a mixed methods study

Semino, Elena and Demjen, Zsofia and Demmen, Jane and Koller, Veronika and Payne, Sheila and Hardie, Andrew and Rayson, Paul (2017) The online use of Violence and Journey metaphors by patients with cancer, as compared with health professionals:a mixed methods study. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, 7 (1). pp. 60-66. ISSN 2045-435X

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Abstract

Objective To compare the frequencies with which cancer patients and health professionals use Violence and Journey metaphors when writing online; and to investigate cancer patients’ use of these metaphors, in view of critiques of war-related metaphors for cancer and the adoption of the notion of the ‘cancer journey’ in UK policy documents. Design Computer-assisted quantitative and qualitative study of two datasets totalling 753,302 words. Setting A UK-based online forum for cancer patients (500,134 words) and a UK-based website for health professionals (253,168 words). Participants 56 cancer patients writing online between 2007 and 2012; and 307 health professionals writing online between 2008 and 2013. Results Cancer patients use both Violence metaphors and Journey metaphors approximately 1.5 times per 1,000 words to describe their illness experience. In similar online writing, health professionals use each type of metaphor significantly less frequently. Patients’ Violence metaphors can express and reinforce negative feelings, but they can also be used in empowering ways. Journey metaphors can express and reinforce positive feelings, but can also be used in disempowering ways.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
Additional Information:
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2900/2914
Subjects:
ID Code:
72977
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
19 Feb 2015 08:06
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
04 Dec 2020 01:56