Patient Democracy

How do we improve communication with patients - regardless of their social background - so that they get involved in making properly informed decisions about the best course of treatment?

Assistant Professor at Design School Kolding Eva Knutz has looked for an answer to this in her research project "Patient Democracy", which she has just completed.

Eva Knutz participated in a number of consultations about cancer diagnosis and examined how shared decision making is practiced in hospitals. Through a number of design experiments she investigated the power structures of the consultations. The aim of these experiments was to make inquiries into the hospital’s own conception of democracy and to use design activism to re-negotiate the roles and rights for patients thereby exploring various disruptive realities wherein the patient becomes a citizen with democratic rights.

The research results could potentially enhance dialogue and democratic practices in patient-doctor consultations.

Grey zones
Rector Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen says:
- Eva Knutz's project focuses on one of the hospital's so-called grey zones - areas where problems arise but there is no dedicated professional industry or business to call upon for solutions. In this case the grey zone is patient security. 

Collaboration partners
Patient Democracy is integrated into the partnership agreement between Design School Kolding and Hospital Lillebælt. Eva Knutz worked closely together with the Health Service Research Unit and the Oncological Department at Vejle Hospital.