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Exploring diagnostic processes: social science perspectives
  1. J McLaughlin
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J McLaughlin
    School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, 5th Floor, Claremont Bridge Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK;


This review explores social science analyses of diagnosis of childhood neurological disabilities. The paper moves through three sections, which capture the historical and conceptual trends within the literature. The first focuses on work identifying the need to communicate effectively with parents when giving a diagnosis, the second explores the role parents can play as “partners” or contributors to diagnosis, and the final section goes further in exploring the social complexity of diagnoses in order to examine the embedded nature of social practices, power relations and hierarchies, and institutions in the diagnosis encounter.

  • diagnosis
  • neurological disability
  • social factors
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  • Competing interests: none declared

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