Social class and health education: the impact of class position on women's experience of receiving health education information whilst in hospital

Henshaw, L. E. (2000) Social class and health education: the impact of class position on women's experience of receiving health education information whilst in hospital. Masters thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This study aims to explore the impact of class position on women's experience of receiving health education information whilst in hospital for hysterectomy. Evidence from past studies (Webb and Wilson-Barnett 1983, Webb 1986, Bernhard 1992) indicates that lack of information features highly when women talk about their experiences of hysterectomy. However, they have not explored the different experiences of women according to their class position.

A qualitative approach, taking a feminist standpoint and focussing on subjective meanings, was adopted to address the research question. In-depth interviews were conducted with quota samples of thirty six women. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with doctors and nurses to provide a background to the study.

Emerging themes indicate that women from differing class backgrounds have varying informational needs. Working class women accept a passive role and relinquish control over their body to the doctor who they perceive to hold all the power. They express dissatisfaction with the information they receive for dealing with their own recovery. They expect to gain this
information from nurses, but find that it is not forthcoming. However, they are reluctant to be critical of nurses who they perceive to be too busy to provide this information.

Middle class women are not satisfied with the information they receive. They express expectations of a mutualistic relationship with their doctors and are disappointed when this is not the case. They also express disappointment when information about recovery is not forthcoming from nurses. They express a need for an opportunity to discuss their anxieties as well as gaining procedural information.

Patient education needs to be taken on board by health professionals as a necessity rather than an luxury. It needs to be addressed in term of equity rather than treating women as a homogeneous group with the same needs. Nurses are in the unique and challenging position of spending most time with the patient and should be maximising the opportunity for providing health education.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13613
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 14:45
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 08:58
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/13613

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