Giuliana Diani University of Modena and Reggio Emilia ”Metadiscourse in web-mediated health communication.”


This paper investigates web-based health communication used for liaising with caregivers of paediatric patients in the specific context of a chronic disease, i.e. neurological disorders resulting in epilepsy. The study focuses on webpages created by parents whose children suffered neurological diseases and written in collaboration with medical experts. The aim of this paper is to explore how the writers of these webpages establish a relationship with their readers by means of metadiscursive devices. The overall findings reveal that writers place more emphasis on the readership than on the manifestation of their identity, showing a participative, dialogic and inclusive way of exchanging specialized information.

Keywords: metadiscourse, self-mentions, engagement markers, online health communication.

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