Situating Boundary Work: Chronic Disease Prevention in Danish Hospitals

  • Inge Kryger Pedersen University of Copenhagen


Noncommunicable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are the leading cause of death globally. This paper focuses on the boundary work among health professions involved in lifestyle-related preventive measures at Danish hospitals. Drawing on documents, qualitative in-depth interviews and extended conversations conducted with health professionals about goals, dilemmas, and practices related to lifestyle disease prevention, as well as site visits at Danish hospitals, it is identified which professional groups have claimed responsibility for the tasks, how they are defined, and through what kinds of interactions and infighting. The analysis grounds Abbott’s framework of jurisdictions and his meso-level vocabulary in a situated account of professional boundary work and follow the way nurses in particular create, and sometimes stabilize or standardize techniques for prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. It is demonstrated by different forms of boundary work how nurses work to extend, defend or refashion established work boundaries when handling these new tasks.


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Author Biography

Inge Kryger Pedersen, University of Copenhagen
Dept. of Sociology, Associate Professor, PhD
How to Cite
Pedersen, I. K. (2020). Situating Boundary Work: Chronic Disease Prevention in Danish Hospitals. Professions and Professionalism, 10(1).