The expert approach to risk sees it as a technical matter to be tackled with more science and better risk communication. Risk is an objective concept relating to the management of future uncertainties through rational action based on calculations of probability. The lay approach to risk, on the other hand, reflects the complex web of people’s experiences in which culture, social structures, familial and social relationships all interact. The presence of these divergent risk discourses has implications for prevention and can adversely affect the outcomes of disease. The ways in which risk is constructed by lay actors is considered to be problematic as they constitute situated rationalities which confront the views put forward by experts. Whilst the claims of experts based on predictability, regularity, and certainty are viewed as being counter-productive because they do not fit with the beliefs found in popular culture nor with lay observations. Using data from studies of coronary heart disease this paper examines whether a patient-centred approach to risk assessment and management can ensure that these two risk discourses are better aligned in order to achieve improved outcomes.
|Keywords:||Lay Risk Dicourses, Expert Risk Discourse, Disease Prevention, Patient Centred Care, Coronary Heart Disease|
Professor of Health and Social Care Studies and Head, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Canterbury Christ Church University, Chatham, Kent, UK
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