From sense making to decision making when living with cancer


  • Elizabeth M. Goering Indiana University Purdue University
  • Andrea Krause Universität Paderborn



autoethnography, coordinated management of meaning, decision making in healthcare, health narratives, living with cancer, LUUUTT model, relational communication


The diagnosis of a catastrophic illness, such as cancer, brings with it a whirlwind of decisions to be made. As healthcare systems rely increasingly on shared decision making (SDM), understanding how patients make sense of health-related information and equip themselves to participate as equal partners in health-related decision making is essential. Coordinated management of meaning’s (CMM) LUUUTT (lived, unknown, untold, unheard, told stories, telling stories) model provides a useful conceptual and methodological framework for better understanding how stories are woven together to create meaning and influence decision making. This Research Note illustrates the potential of applying the LUUUTT model to autoethnographic vignettes and personal health narratives to reach a deeper understanding of the sense-making and decision-making processes related to living with cancer.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth M. Goering, Indiana University Purdue University

Elizabeth Goering received her PhD in Communication from Purdue University, Indiana, and she is a Professor of Communication Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Her recent publications include the co-authored book Understanding Patients’ Voices: A Multi-method Approach to Health Discourse (2015, John Benjamins) as well as articles published in Communication and Medicine and the Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet.

Andrea Krause, Universität Paderborn

Andrea Krause received her PhD in American Literature from Purdue University, Indiana, with a specialty in contemporary American authors. Recently her research has combined social science theories with the analysis of pop culture and literary texts to illuminate what these texts can teach us about human behavior. Her publications focus on privacy management and communicator style in Harry Potter as well as the comparative analysis of the values communicated through television judge shows.


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How to Cite

Goering, E. M., & Krause, A. (2018). From sense making to decision making when living with cancer. Communication and Medicine, 14(3), 268–273.



Research Notes