Sick Role Non-Identification and New Regime of Representation: Effects of the Non-Conventional Practice in the Type II Diabetes Treatment

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Nelson BARROS, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
Flávia Liparini PEREIRA, UNICAMP, Brazil
Silvana BARDINI, UNICAMP, Brazil
José Luís MIXTRO, UNICAMP, Brazil
Bianca RODRIGUES, Unicamp, Brazil
Illness narratives have been allowing the advance in the understanding of the health, disease and care of people with chronic diseases. It has helped to understand the variances related to different medical systems treatment for type II diabetes, in primary healthcare in Brazil. Although all patients take medicines, some places have been associating the Lian Gong, body practice from Chinese Medicine, obtaining positive results. The aim of this paper is to discuss comparatively the narratives of type II diabetes patients, who associate and do not associate Lian Gong to the conventional treatment. Semi-structured interview were conducted with 96 people with type II diabetes undergoing treatment in primary healthcare in a large Brazilian city. 45 out of the participants were Lian Gong practitioners and 51 were non-practitioners. The interviews were recorded and the data were processed from the content analysis and narrative analysis. Although the practitioners’ tales coincides with those of non-practitioners regarding the dependencies, invalidations, and dismay brought about by diabetes, there are significant differences in their plots associated to the non-identification to the disease labels and the oppression imposed by the diabetes. The narratives of non-practitioners are composed by expressions such as "you are always taking medicine"; "you have to always be controlling, always be alert"; "always being on the doctor, having tests". On the other hand, the narratives of practitioners bring expressions such as "I try to live as if I didn’t have a disease”; "I do not feel like a sick person, even though I know I have to take all these medicines, I feel like a healthy person". It is concluded that people with diabetes who associate Lian Gong with conventional treatment in primary healthcare develops sick role non-identification and new regime of representation of health, disease and care.