Abstract

This article discusses the implications of medical brochures titled ‘Hva er diabetes?’ (‘What is diabetes?’) for patients’ perception of diabetes as a chronic illness. The brochure is part of a public relations program targeting people who interact with or have recently become diabetes patients. It is created by diabetesforbunet.no, a Norwegian non-governmental organization aiming to promote issues around diabetes and handed out by all major hospitals and doctors in the Oslo area. The research sets out to understand what discourses are contained in the information given primarily to newly diagnosed diabetic patients and acts as a precursor to a larger study in which patients and designers will be interviewed. The critical discourse analysis found that the brochure aims to calm the patients, it aims to make them compliant with their new lifestyle as chronic care patients. The study focuses particularly how the designer can influence this discourse. The findings build on the understanding of the role of the designer as a public relations practitioner, who is involved in the construction and maintenance of discourses and the ways in which this is achieved.

Keywords:

critical discourse analysis, design, communication theory, health and design

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

The Role of the Designer in Public Discourse –A critical discourse analysis of a medical brochure for diabetes patients

This article discusses the implications of medical brochures titled ‘Hva er diabetes?’ (‘What is diabetes?’) for patients’ perception of diabetes as a chronic illness. The brochure is part of a public relations program targeting people who interact with or have recently become diabetes patients. It is created by diabetesforbunet.no, a Norwegian non-governmental organization aiming to promote issues around diabetes and handed out by all major hospitals and doctors in the Oslo area. The research sets out to understand what discourses are contained in the information given primarily to newly diagnosed diabetic patients and acts as a precursor to a larger study in which patients and designers will be interviewed. The critical discourse analysis found that the brochure aims to calm the patients, it aims to make them compliant with their new lifestyle as chronic care patients. The study focuses particularly how the designer can influence this discourse. The findings build on the understanding of the role of the designer as a public relations practitioner, who is involved in the construction and maintenance of discourses and the ways in which this is achieved.

 

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