Reflections on the Middle Space

N. Wathen, R. Harris, S. Wyatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In this book, we have described examples of the actors and relationships in our ‘middle space’, that amorphous ground between end-users — those ‘health-interested’ seekers of various kinds of health information and care — and the broad and sometimes murky universe of health information. This final chapter weaves together some of the threads drawn to our attention by the contributors, presents emerging themes regarding the actors and their relationships in this middle space, and considers the implications of these themes for those making policy and practice decisions in health care and health information support. We begin with a discussion of how ‘users’ of health information are defined and situated, then explore specific aspects of info(r)mediation as they affect end-users, with a particular focus on features of mediators that seem to facilitate or be a barrier to the info(r)mediation process; ending with some implications for policy and practice in the areas of health care and health information services. It should be noted that our focus is not so much on health information itself, but the process of health information mediation and how it varies, depending on such contextual factors as professional role, the presence of information and communication technologies, and various sociotechnical configurations. To this end, the ‘circuit of culture’ has provided an analytical framework for situating the actors and their interactions within the set of processes that we call ‘health info(r)mediation’.keywordspublic librarymediation processinformation seekermediator rolehealth information seekerthese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediating Health Information
Subtitle of host publicationThe Go-Betweens in a Changing Socio-Technical Landscape
EditorsN. Wathen, S. Wyatt, R. Harris
Place of PublicationHoundmills
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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