Affiliation: Rutgers – State University of New Jersey
I use mixed methods to investigate the communication and social practices used to negotiate interactions in a variety of health and mental health contexts. My scholarship consists of three intertwining threads guided by my interest in patient engagement in real world contexts. The first thread is situated in the community and reconceptualizes the notion of communicative competence by centering on what patients do in their everyday lives. Much of this work examines the situated communication practices of individuals diagnosed with neurological and psychiatric disorders to provide a grounded perspective on everyday functioning and community participation.
The second thread is situated in the clinic and is informed by my work in the community reconceptualizing competence. I also examine clinical work practices and clinical reasoning to consider applications of patient-centered constructs such as shared decision making. These first two threads weave together a situated understanding of the “everyday-ness” of an individual’s functioning – which is often neglected or misunderstood – with an understanding of what happens in the clinic.
The final thread considers the societal need for patient participation in the collective sense, namely how to reach and work with patient communities to pose more relevant research questions and develop more sensitive research strategies to better serve patient populations and better assist caregivers and clinicians. My work informs our understanding of best practices, intervention development and implementation and therefore contains a strong applied component, particularly to inquiry in health services.