Powerful diagnoses and illegitimate illnesses’ is about the ever greater group of citizens in today’s society, who are on sick leaves with illnesses that cannot be diagnosed. This concerns stress, depression and pain disorders. The point of departure of the book is a vast qualitative interview dataset, where the citizens on sick leave, the doctors and the caseworkers all have had the opportunity to discuss illnesses and the powerful diagnosis, which stands between the citizen and the further case management, including access to a number of social benefits.  

The book demonstrates how the scopes of the efforts outline some very particular conditions for this challenging target group. These scopes, for instance, lead to caseworkers and doctors swapping roles when they meet the client/patient, where caseworkers operate with a far more constricted notion of illness than the doctors do.   

In the book, there is expressed a separate interest in how illness is defined, and in what roles diagnoses and gender have regarding this definition. Furthermore, the authors analytically identify three regular client strategies that large parts of the welfare system presumably will be able to recognize.