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Analyzing Women's Voices on Medical Forums

We recognize women's voices on medical forums by analyzing discursive moves, specifically how women frame their health and health care experiences. Has the Affordable Care Act changed forum talk?

Access is not enough


Has the Affordable Care Act helped women? 

Presenting preliminary findings at the APHA 2016 in Denver, CO

Soneet Dhillon, B.S. Biochemistry

Serena Williams, Ph.D. Linguistics

This research involving medical forum use is part of the larger picture of understanding how people use language to get work done, while seeking information about health or creating a social identity. Language use as a social move pervades almost all aspects of our lives, and we want to show how these processes occur such that individuals negotiate their place and the places of others within the larger social order.

“I have been to the ER multiple times and… I know I need to go to a doctor but I do not have insurance and I cannot afford it…any suggestions to help with the pain would be greatly appreciated."

Background: Women earn less than men in nearly all professions, but they are more likely to need medical assistance for chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders. The Affordable Care Act helps relieve financial burden related with medical services by mandating health plans to cover most recommended preventative services and eliminating cost-sharing for these services. Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act prevents health insurance companies from refusing services due to pre-existing conditions. But is access enough?

Do you find linguistic analysis of women’s voices interesting? Doing similar research? Email me to collaborate, join our team, exchange ideas and resources.

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