Aarhus Universitets segl

‘Men just drink more than women. Women have friends to talk to’– Gendered understandings of depression among healthcare professionals and their implications

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  • Jeppe Oute
  • ,
  • Janis Tondora, Yale University, USA
  • Stinne Glasdam, Lund University

Little is known about how gendered understandings of patients can inform professionals’ discretionary actions and decisions to include or exclude in clinical practice. Using Connell's poststructuralist perspectives on gender as an analytic framework, this article aims to investigate how professionals’ articulations of depression are framed by signs of masculinity and femininity, and how these articulations inform service provision to patients with depression in clinical psychiatry. Building on interview data drawn from an ethnographic study, the article shows how the professionals’ articulations reflected a gender binary that framed how the feminized patients were often connected to psychiatric care while masculinized patients were referred to separate alcohol or substance use treatment outside the psychiatric institution. The article discusses the societal and institutional conditionality of gendered understandings in psychiatry. In spite of several limitations, the article elucidates how professionals’ understandings might have wide-ranging implications for the accuracy of epidemiological research and policy, and how they reflect a power struggle between patients and professionals about the legitimate right to interpret patients’ conditions and efforts to manage their illness-related problems.

TidsskriftNursing Inquiry
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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