The Nocebo Effect for Women in Waiting

Elaine Dietsch, Carmel Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


This paper, drawn from a larger phenomenological study, critiques the effects of “waiting” for women when they have an abnormal Pap test result. The hurt and injury incurred by women who perceive they have no choice but to become patient waiters in a health system that seemingly values the time of the health care provider over the health care recipient is discussed. These iatrogenic, unintended, harmful consequences are referred to as the nocebo effect. The participants provide the principal voices and their stories are dialogued to a lesser degree with the literature and the discourse of critical theorists who question power relationships in health professional practice. The purpose of this paper is served when the women’s stories strip away some of the taken-for-granted, invisible aspects of the health professional’s power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


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