Just a quick note re: a language choice that comes up in all of our work.
In Research Round-Up #016, the Community Health Impact Coalition expressed a preference for the work patient over client. This preference is based on the idea that patients have a right to health (access, equity…), whereas clients typically pay for services in a transaction. The ongoing (global) fight against point-of-care user fees thus jives better w/the word patient.
One of the authors of the “client” study, Ryan Logan, reached out to us following the publication of issue 016 w/the following explanatory note: “For the population of CHWs I worked with in Indiana, they (and the association that organized CHWs) preferred the use of the term client for CHWs and patients for medical professionals (doctors, nurses, etc.). As it was a collaborative project in which I worked closely with the CHWs, I wanted to ensure that my research reflected their verbiage hence the usage of client rather than patient."
Some fields, like reproductive health, are adamant about using “client.” I have also heard folks suggest that “client” sounds more commercial, i.e. “clients are more empowered to make choices” (though of course we all want patients to be empowered too!). The WHO classification of digital health interventions has ‘interventions for clients’ as one of their high-level categories…
I am strongly on the side of patient, but am curious about the experience and opinions of others here.