Prevention is better than cure, but...: Preventive medication as a risk to ordinariness?

Eborall, Helen C and Will, Catherine M (2011) Prevention is better than cure, but...: Preventive medication as a risk to ordinariness? Health, Risk and Society, 13 (7-8). pp. 653-668. ISSN 1363-4593

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Preventive health remains at the forefront of public health concerns; recent initiatives, such as the NHS health check, may lead to recommendations for medication in response to the identification of 'at risk' individuals. Little is known about lay views of preventive medication. This paper uses the case of aspirin as a prophylactic against heart disease to explore views among people invited to screening for a trial investigating the efficacy of such an approach. Qualitative interviews (N=46) and focus groups (N=5, participants 31) revealed dilemmas about preventive medication in the form of clashes between norms: first, in general terms, assumptions about the benefit of prevention were complicated by dislike of medication; second, the individual duty to engage in prevention was complicated by the need not to be over involved with one's own health; third, the potential appeal of this alternative approach to health promotion was complicated by unease about the implications of encouraging irresponsible behaviour among others. Though respondents made different decisions about using the drug, they reported very similar ways of trying to resolve these conflicts, drawing upon concepts of necessity and legitimisation and the special ordinariness of the particular drug

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0621 Culture
Depositing User: Catherine Will
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2014 13:43
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 01:09

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