Trust, uncertainty and identity in health-related decision-making: The role of key professionals

Alison Wilde*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing literature examining the way service users make choices in the context of complex and frequently changing forms of welfare provision and increasingly personalised services in England. Despite criticisms of the individualistic, consumerist assumptions underpinning these policies, little is known about the relational contexts of individuals' lives and the role of professional support in choice-making. Drawing on interviews with 'key professionals', identified by service users as having played a crucial role in recent important choices, this paper explores how these choices are made with the support of those who are trusted to provide assistance. Placing 'key professionals' at the centre of the analysis, the distinct experiences of people with fluctuating and sudden-onset health conditions are examined. The analysis highlights the particular value of relationships that pay close attention to transitional health identities and the co-production of health-related decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-212
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number2
Early online date29 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion keywords

  • Disability Equality

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