Fast-track diagnostics. An anthropological study exploring how fast-track diagnostic cancer pathways frame clinical encounters and patient and health professional identities.


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Background: Early and fast diagnostics are central in cancer treatment in Denmark. Technological inventions continuously improve diagnostic processes and cancer pathways are implemented to ensure timely and evidence-based action. Pathways contain standardized procedures with time as a structuring element. While the notion of time is confirmed important from a biomedical view, knowledge of how time shapes clinical encounters and experiences is sparse.
Aim: The aim of the project is to explore how fast-track diagnostics frame clinical encounters and the configuring of patients and health professionals. Drawing on an anthropological fieldwork and recent writings on biopolitics, social technology and symbolic interactionism, the following research questions will be answered:
- How do fast-track diagnostics frame clinical encounters?
- How are patients and health professionals configured within fast-track diagnostics?
- What are the significance and meaning of time in fast-track diagnostics?

Methodology: The project is based on a 12 month fieldwork in three different cancer pathways at two hospitals, two general practices and in patients’ homes. Interviews and observations are the main methods and data are coded throughout the fieldwork, reread and analyzed with selected theoretical framework after the completion of fieldwork.
Perspective: The project will contribute with knowledge on how fast-track cancer diagnostics with the inherent notion of time affect and are affected by the people and organizations involved in them; including how time frames 1) experiences of those involved 2) the conceptualization of cancer and 3) what it means to be a patient and health professional.

Organization and financing: The project is a part-time PhD study co-financed between Diagnostic Center, Silkeborg Region Hospital and The Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care (CaP), Aarhus University. The project is carried out by anthropologist, MA, Rikke Aarhus supervised by a group of supervisors: Main supervisor; professor, Peter Vedsted, project supervisor; associate professor, Rikke Sand Andersen, and co-supervisors; clinical associate professor, Britta Tarp and professor, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen.


  • Hurtig diagnostik , Kræftpakke

ID: 56854787