Talking down pain in the prosthesis clinic: the emergence of a local preference

Renata Galatolo*, Alessandra Fasulo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Understanding and evaluating pain is a growing concern in clinical practice and health care. In this paper we examine how pain is talked about in 24 video-recorded visits of a team of medical professionals with post-surgery amputees. We identify a paradox: although it is medically useful to identify post-amputation pain (it can indicate problematic healing, and deter application of a prosthesis) we found that there was a joint preference, by both patients and professionals, to minimise pain sensations. We show how both parties draw on turn design, sequential organisation and multimodal resources to acknowledge some kinds of unpleasant sensations while excluding types of pain that would be problematic in view of the prosthesis. We discuss the importance of the findings in terms of furthering the understanding of situated expression and reporting of pain, the emergence of local preferences in clinical settings and preference organisation in general. Data are in Italian.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-121
Number of pages21
JournalResearch on Language & Social Interaction
Issue number1
Early online date15 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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