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Flexible therapeutic landscapes of labour and the place of pain relief.

Burges Watson, D. and Murtagh, M. J. and Lally, J. and Thomson, R. and McPhail, S. (2007) 'Flexible therapeutic landscapes of labour and the place of pain relief.', Health and place., 13 (4). pp. 865-876.

Abstract

Flexibility in the design and enactment of spaces of healthcare is important in how providers respond to variations in patient expectations and experience. Health geographers have contributed to a wide body of literature concerning the therapeutic qualities of landscapes and the material, social and symbolic orderings of place and their uniqueness for individuals. In this paper, we draw upon these findings and a ‘culture of place’ approach to consider the complexities of maternity care and issues of pain relief. Given that pain is widely held to be a subjective experience and one that, in an era of patient decision making, increasingly demands discretionary approaches to its relief, we consider how medical professionals help to construct flexibility in healthcare and how this affects therapeutic landscapes. Drawing on analysis of four focus groups involving parent educators, midwives, health visitors, anaesthetists and obstetricians in the NE of England, we exp! lore the material and discursive construction of flexible therapeutic landscapes and pain relief. Our findings suggest that flexibility is constrained and fashioned in association with health care professional's sense of place as already constituted. We propose that providing maternity care professionals with an explicit awareness of how places are relationally constructed, may help in expanding the therapeutic qualities of particular settings, and support a (more) flexible approach.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2007.02.003
Record Created:20 Apr 2009 12:20
Last Modified:20 Apr 2009 16:36

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