- Coping with cancer and adversity : Hospital ethnography in Kenya
- Award date
- 2 March 2010
- Number of pages
- Leiden: African Studies Centre
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Many people associate hospital treatment with ‘getting better’, the restoration to health and normal life. The onset of a lifethreatening disease such as cancer, however, can transform the hospital into a place of constant struggle and suffering. Hospitalisation in this sense coincides with the deterioration of patients’ and their families’ overall wellbeing. Drawing on twelve months of ethnographic research in a cancer ward in Kenya, this monograph shows that patients’ suffering should be viewed within the context of a wider spectrum of adversity. The book demonstrates the ambiguity of a hospital stay and treatment, showing how a hospital can both alleviate as well as increase human suffering. The author advocates patient-centred hospital ethnography as a way to improve the understanding of cancer patients’ needs, both medical and nonmedical, as they struggle to restore their wellbeing.
- African Studies Collection vol. 22
Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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