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Exploring Health Literacy: Web-based Genres in Disseminating Specialized Knowledge to Caregivers. The Case of Paediatric Neurological Disorders

Silvia Cavalieri, Giuliana Diani


This paper aims at analyzing the discursive practices used in web-based informative materials in the specific context of a chronic disease, i.e. neurological disorders resulting in epilepsy, for liaising with caregivers of paediatric patients. The study centres on a corpus of webpages gathered from the websites of the major foundations dealing with paediatric neurological syndromes. From a methodological perspective, the study makes recourse to existing studies on the discursive practices that in the literature on knowledge dissemination are identified as being used to facilitate the layman’s access to specialized scientific knowledge. The overall results show that knowledge dissemination strategies used in the webpages under investigation offer cognitive tools to parents as caregivers in order to make them informed about their children’s disease. These webpages enhance caregiver health literacy and achieve the goal of caregiver empowerment, giving her/his greater control over decisions affecting her/his child’s health.


caregivers; expert-to-lay communication; health literacy; specialized knowledge dissemination; web-based genres

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2019-001-cadi


Lingue Culture Mediazioni - Languages Cultures Mediation
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (27/11/2013 n. 380)
Online ISSN 2421-0293 - Print ISSN 2284-1881

Dipartimento di Scienze della Mediazione Linguistica e di Studi Interculturali
Università degli Studi di Milano

Editors-in-Chief: Paola Catenaccio, Giuliana Garzone
Editors:  Marina Brambilla, Luigi Bruti Liberati, Maria Vittoria Calvi, Gabriella Cartago, Lidia De Michelis, Dino Gavinelli, Marie-Christine Jullion, Alessandra Lavagnino, Chiara Molinari, Giovanni Turchetta.
Sub-Editors: Maria Matilde Benzoni, Paola Cotta Ramusino, Mario De Benedittis, Kim Grego, Giovanna Mapelli, Fabio Mollica, Bettina Marta Mottura, Mauro Giacomo Novelli, Letizia Osti, Maria Cristina Paganoni, Giuseppe Sergio, Virginia Sica, Nicoletta Vallorani.
International Advisory Board: James Archibald (Translation Studies) - Hugo de Burgh (Chinese Media Studies) - Kristen Brustad (Arabic Linguistics) - Daniel Coste (French Language) - Luciano Curreri (Italian Literature) - Claudio Di Meola (German Linguistics) - Donatella Dolcini (Hindi Studies) - Johann Drumbl (German Linguistics) - Denis Ferraris (Italian Literature) - Lawrence Grossberg (Cultural Studies) - Stephen Gundle (Film and Television Studies) - Tsuchiya Junji (Sociology) - John McLeod (Post-colonial Studies) - Estrella Montolío Durán (Spanish Language) - Silvia Morgana (Italian Linguistics) - Samir Marzouki (Translation, Cultural Relations) - Mbare Ngom (Post-Colonial Literatures) - Christiane Nord (Translation Studies) - Roberto Perin (History) - Giovanni Rovere (Italian Linguistics) - Lara Ryazanova-Clarke (Russian Studies) - Shi-Xu (Discourse and Cultural Studies) - Srikant Sarangi (Discourse analysis) - Françoise Sabban, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine (Chinese Studies) - Itala Vivan (Cultural Studies, Museum Studies)

Editor of LCM - The Series: Marie-Christine Jullion

Referee List