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The sociability of patients in Belgium

KU Leuven


Tim Debroyer – Joris Vandendriessche (Promotor) 

Organisations, expertise, and experiences (1950-2000)


This project conducts exploratory historical research on self-help groups and patient associations in Belgium in the second half of the 20th century. It will provide an overview of the development of these associations and identify key source collections (archives, publications, journals, …) to enable further research on this theme within medical history and health humanities. The project consists of a bibliographic survey, followed by a deeper content analysis of journals. In collaboration with the Trefpunt Zelfhulp vzw, it will also engage with current patient associations to identify archival collections and conduct a selection of interviews with early members. Thanks to these exploratory analyses and interviews, the project will offer insights into the diseases or medical conditions around which sociability among patients first took shape, and what patient associations did or did not have in common from a historical perspective (e.g. in their relationship to doctors, the media or the government).