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Charlotte Ryman

Position: Doctoral Student School/office: School of Health Sciences


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Charlotte Ryman
Research subject

About Charlotte Ryman

Health is a complex phenomenon, which can be studied from many angles. Some approaches relying on narrowly defined medical interventions others strives for an understanding of health as a social phenomenon that emanates from a matter of fairness and social justice. Worldly, in general health has improved due to an increased education and sanitary resources but inequalities still exist dependent on social group. In my clinical work as cancer nurse, patients tells me about misunderstandings and neglecting of symptoms in Primary Care, which can delay diagnose. The delaines can affect the ability to give curable intended treatment and/or it can lead to worse side effects of the treatments.

The purpose of my doctoral project is to understand the mechanisms behind the social inequalities in cancer care. Health, as a phenomenon eminent from social, biological and psychological circumstances- in example psychiatric illness can manifest through the body.  How the social background (age, gender, education, marital status, accommodation and income) affect individuals capability to access, understand, appraises and apply health information (health literacy) before, under and after cancer treatment is of interest. The social background has a direct effect on health, but we do not know exactly how. To deepen our knowledge we plan to explore the health literacy in cancer care settings first in the literature, then in the real world and finally interview patients with head-neck cancer. The focus of the thesis is to understand behavioral patterns  why patients with lager tumor haven’t sought help earlier.

We believe that the benefits of raising awareness regarding health literacy not only outweighs the disadvantages, but more importantly, raising awareness is beneficial for patients and gives healthcare workers the ability to promote a better treatment adherence.