Volume 9 is a special issue on medical discourse in Internet-based communication.

Guest Editors for this volume: Marina Bondi University of University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
and Franca Poppi Univesity Modena e Reggio Emilia

Exploring Health Literacy in an online world

The issue of health literacy has become central in the debate on medical communication, particularly when dealing with chronic diseases. While there has been a considerable body of research into doctor-patient discourse, the majority has focused on oral interaction. The paucity of linguistic studies on print materials and web-mediated genres highlights the need for further research on this issue. The literature on the quality of written communication is also largely based on statistical estimates of readability of patient information leaflets, rather than on functional analysis of recontextualizing procedures making information relevant to the specific reader. This becomes central when addressing written communication with caregivers, who need to be able to mediate health practices to pediatric patients and dependants. Cultural diversity adds a further challenge: there is ample evidence that poor intercultural communication negatively affects patient satisfaction and adherence, and consequently health outcomes.

The following papers are now under review:

Caregiver assessment of informative materials on the Ketogenic Diet in Italy through the Evaluative Linguistic Framework (ELF)

I am going on a ketogenic diet. Engaging different audiences in communicating dietary requirements for pediatric patients

Metadiscourse in web-based health communication to paediatric patients and their caregivers

Getting information about congenital heart diseases: the parents’ perspective

Children with autism or autistic children? Indexicality in the websites for parents of children with genetic diseases

Pimp my hearing aids – emotionality in lay language on the basis of English patients’ Internet ENT forums and online groups about cochlear implants

Closing analysis of nurse-elder patient interaction at Mobile Integrative Health Clinic

Figuration and obesity: Warning bells from TheGuardian.com

The dynamics of diabetic discourse: social networking in a diabetic community of practice

Health information for the elderly