Dementie in metaforen

Humaniora
15-05-2019
Agnieke W.T. Broos, Anke J.M. Oerlemans en Gert J. Olthuis

‘Dementie: groeiende ramp of afnemende epidemie?’ of ‘Deltaplan Dementie keert tij niet’. Zomaar wat koppen uit het NTvG van de afgelopen maanden. De oplettende lezer ontdekt er metaforen in. Onze taal staat bol van metaforen, taalconstructies waarmee we anderen iets uitleggen of pogen anderen te overtuigen. Bij een metafoor leggen we eigenschappen van een bepaald begrip op de eigenschappen van een ander begrip, zoals in de zin ‘het brein is een computer’.1

Dementia expressed in metaphors

In healthcare, both patients and doctors use a lot of metaphors in their communication. Generally, not a lot of attention is paid to this, however, the use of metaphors is important to the patients’ experience of both quality of life and quality of care. In our society, many negative metaphors are used about people with dementia, and these reflect the general way dementia is perceived by society. We investigated the sort of metaphors that people with dementia themselves use when talking about their lives with dementia. We found that people with dementia use a variety of metaphors to describe their disease. When doctors become more sensitive to the use of metaphors by themselves and their patients, this could lead to better insight into the specific experience patients go through and to healthcare that is better adjusted to these experiences.

Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.