The representation of the relationship between users and healthcare system: The demand of a group of citizens

Renzo Carli, Rosa Maria Paniccia, Andrea Caputo


The present research study aims at exploring the expectations towards healthcare, in particular towards general practitioners and hospital professionals, reported by a group of citizens who are potential users of healthcare system itself. We hypothesize that these expectations are not based on commonsense but need to be explored with regard to their emotional specificity that cannot be taken for granted. We aim at critically discussing the idea that patients’ participation in knowing and deciding about healthcare acts in all their specific stages is useful, as well as that for healthcare staff it is appropriate to change their behaviors towards users accordingly value-related requirements, such as good and correct communication. Thirty-one citizens were interviewed and the resulting texts were analyzed according to Emotional Text Analysis (AET). Five clusters were detected within a factorial space which overall expresses citizens’ demand for being taken in charge with regard not only to their diseases but also to their suffering subjectivity as ill people. This demand is conceived as a right and both cure and care are seen as indissoluble tasks of healthcare. Healthcare system is confronted with this double demand and its failure to comply with the second demand seems to generate the recent conflict between healthcare system and users.


healthcare system change; patient’s subjectivity; healthcare-related cultural models; physician-patient relationship.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363