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Index de Enfermería

On-line version ISSN 1699-5988Print version ISSN 1132-1296


TOSAL HERRERO, Beatriz. The body likes excuse: Diagnosing fibromyalgia in a rheumatologic clinic. Index Enferm [online]. 2008, vol.17, n.1, pp.12-16. ISSN 1699-5988.

Introduction: The process of medicalization of the society has generated a dependence of the biomedicine to understand, to negotiate and to legitimate the illness. As consequence arises, a new form of considering the bodily processes that transforms the identities and the individuals' subjectivities. Persons conceive and experience the illness in the body as signs and symptoms. This representation of the illness shared by experts and patients during the clinical encounter it becomes the characteristic language of the interaction. This even happens in cases, as that of the fibromyalgia, in those that the diagnosis takes place in absence of 'objective' alterations of the body. Methods: Fieldwork carried out over a six-month period in two different outpatient rheumatology clinics. I used participant-observation to explore doctor-patient interaction and the diagnostic process of fibromyalgia. Results: I analyzed the representations about the body and the illness used by medical as patients, and the use of the corporal symptoms as legitimation strategy and interaction during the clinical encounter. Conclusion: In fibromyalgia, in spite of the absence of biological ‘objective’ alterations, the body mediates the doctor-patient relationship. This is the place of the therapeutic interventions and the vehicle of the communication between both.

Keywords : fibromyalgia; body; medicalization; doctor-patient relationship.

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