The patient's experience of illness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


What happens when someone gets sick? What is it like to be sick? This review considers the patient's experience of illness, broadly defined. Rather than a comprehensive survey, it is a selective look at some of the main contributions of research on the illness experience over the years and, more briefly, certain newer research areas, some suggestions for future research, and an assessment of the field's contributions. Insofar as possible, it emphasizes topics less widely covered in earlier reviews or by other chapters in this volume.1 Also, given the enormity of the literature, it deals mainly with qualitative research. The topic encompasses illness narratives, but this chapter deals more with content than with format and epistemology, which Bell's (2000) piece in the previous edition of this handbook addressed well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Medical Sociology, Sixth Edition
PublisherVanderbilt University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780826517203
StatePublished - 2010


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