Health-Related Decision-Making of People with Thyroid Disease

The Role of Connective Action and Politicisation of Illness Identities




health activism, connective action, netnography, thyroid disease, illness identities


Social networking sites have become increasingly important for self-diagnosis and obtaining health information, which are particularly relevant in the context of a lack of care. Their structures can further encourage the politicisation of health topics, as they offer a space for the production of crowdsourced knowledge and the amplification of activist content. Hence, it is important to examine how online discourse shapes the decision-making of specific patient groups. This article uses the conceptual lenses of health activism, connective action, and politicised illness identity to investigate health-related decision-making of people with thyroid disease. Drawing on a participatory netnography within activist spaces and 33 in-depth interviews, the study identifies contemporary decision-making paradigms and discusses the role of connective action and politicisation in this context. A typology based on salient strategic themes of decision-making is proposed. The results provide valuable input for researchers of illness identities, as well as practitioners who need to consider different patient types. They contribute to the study of socio-political dimensions of health and an increasingly important discourse that has so far been under-investigated by health communication research.




How to Cite

Schossböck, J. (2021). Health-Related Decision-Making of People with Thyroid Disease: The Role of Connective Action and Politicisation of Illness Identities. European Journal of Health Communication, 2(2), 21–43.