Children, Medicines, and Culture

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Children, Medicines, and Culture is a multicultural, multidisciplinary look at how children in nine European countries and the United States are socialized into medicine use. The team of authors, comprised of social and medical scientists, takes a sociocultural approach to understand why the use of medicines varies among western countries. Their premise is that beliefs, expectations, and behaviors about medicines are learned in childhood and are influenced by families and the wider culture. The authors ...

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Overview

Children, Medicines, and Culture is a multicultural, multidisciplinary look at how children in nine European countries and the United States are socialized into medicine use. The team of authors, comprised of social and medical scientists, takes a sociocultural approach to understand why the use of medicines varies among western countries. Their premise is that beliefs, expectations, and behaviors about medicines are learned in childhood and are influenced by families and the wider culture. The authors interviewed children and their families and here discuss children's knowledge of medicines, their autonomy in medicine use, the attitudes of children and their parents about medicines, children as decisionmakers, medicines kept at home, treatment of childhood fever, and alternative therapies.

The chapters in Children, Medicines, and Culture represent individual country reports and cross-national comparisons as the authors seek to understand how children are socialized into medicine use in the countries of Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, the former Yugoslavia, and the United States. For scholars in anthropology, social pharmacy, social sciences, community health educators, pediatricians, and medial staff, this unique exploration of children and medications supplies:

  • cross-national comparisons of household medicines
  • cross-national comparisons of the treatment of childhood fever from the child's and parent's perspective
  • cross-national comparisons of children's views of the role and benefits of medicines in health and illness
  • children's views of health and illness relative to causation, treatment, prevention, decisionmaking, and attitudes
  • children's knowledge of medicines relative to source, efficacy, mechanism of action, dosage, and characteristics
  • advantages and disadvantages to qualitative and quantitative methods and triangulation in crosscultural research
For health policymakers, educators, and professionals, Children, Medicines, and Culture provides information on which to base and plan health information for children and families. For methodologists, it may be the first time when such a diverse group of scientists has worked together to obtain information in different countries. For others, Children, Medicines, and Culture is an entertaining look at how children and families deal with childhood illnesses in different countries, what kind of medicines families in different countries keep at home, and how children and their parents in different countries view the benefit of medicines and doctors in general.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: James A. Stockman III, MD (American Board of Pediatrics)
Description: This work represents a summary of the findings of the study supported by the European economic community Comite d'Action Concerte, a study examining medicine use, behavior, and children's perceptions of medicines and healthcare. It is a multiauthored text dealing with most aspects of the cultural diversity among populations related to this topic.
Purpose: The book was prepared in response to the increased recognition that variations in medicine use among different populations have a social and cultural component. This material is useful in providing information that can be applied for planning methods to educate children and their families about medicines. Given that children and the manner in which they take medicines do not reflect the concept of children being "little" adults, the purpose of this work is laudable. The discussions achieve the intent of the authors.
Audience: There is no single audience for this book. Anyone interested in cultural variations in medicine use, health education issues as related to children, and related aspects of medical anthropology will find the book fascinating and informative. The authors, largely PhDs with some MD contribution, have backgrounds in pharmacosociology, medical anthropology, pharmacology, and cultural anthropology. They are experts in their fields throughout the world.
Features: Although this book is sparsely illustrated, the illustrations and tables are sufficient to complement the text. The references are quite up-to-date. As a multiauthored volume there is a feeling of some lack of continuity throughout the work, a shortcoming partially overcome by a detailed table of contents and an extensive index.
Assessment: This book is truly unique in that its topic is one that heretofore has not been adequately dealt with in the literature. Readers of varying backgrounds will find the diversity of topics both interesting and informative. Certain areas are truly novel in their approach. Where else could one learn the national diversity which exists in the contents of medicine cabinets throughout the world? Just about everyone can find some aspect of this book worthwhile. Pediatric care providers, social anthropologists, and health educators can learn much from this work.
From The Critics
Reviewer: James A. Stockman III, MD (American Board of Pediatrics)
Description: This work represents a summary of the findings of the study supported by the European economic community Comite d'Action Concerte, a study examining medicine use, behavior, and children's perceptions of medicines and healthcare. It is a multiauthored text dealing with most aspects of the cultural diversity among populations related to this topic.
Purpose: The book was prepared in response to the increased recognition that variations in medicine use among different populations have a social and cultural component. This material is useful in providing information that can be applied for planning methods to educate children and their families about medicines. Given that children and the manner in which they take medicines do not reflect the concept of children being "little" adults, the purpose of this work is laudable. The discussions achieve the intent of the authors.
Audience: There is no single audience for this book. Anyone interested in cultural variations in medicine use, health education issues as related to children, and related aspects of medical anthropology will find the book fascinating and informative. The authors, largely PhDs with some MD contribution, have backgrounds in pharmacosociology, medical anthropology, pharmacology, and cultural anthropology. They are experts in their fields throughout the world.
Features: Although this book is sparsely illustrated, the illustrations and tables are sufficient to complement the text. The references are quite up-to-date. As a multiauthored volume there is a feeling of some lack of continuity throughout the work, a shortcoming partially overcome by a detailed table of contents and an extensive index.
Assessment: This book is truly unique in that its topic is one that heretofore has not been adequately dealt with in the literature. Readers of varying backgrounds will find the diversity of topics both interesting and informative. Certain areas are truly novel in their approach. Where else could one learn the national diversity which exists in the contents of medicine cabinets throughout the world? Just about everyone can find some aspect of this book worthwhile. Pediatric care providers, social anthropologists, and health educators can learn much from this work.
James A. Stockman III
This work represents a summary of the findings of the study supported by the European economic community Comite d'Action Concerte, a study examining medicine use, behavior, and children's perceptions of medicines and healthcare. It is a multiauthored text dealing with most aspects of the cultural diversity among populations related to this topic. The book was prepared in response to the increased recognition that variations in medicine use among different populations have a social and cultural component. This material is useful in providing information that can be applied for planning methods to educate children and their families about medicines. Given that children and the manner in which they take medicines do not reflect the concept of children being little adults, the purpose of this work is laudable. The discussions achieve the intent of the authors. There is no single audience for this book. Anyone interested in cultural variations in medicine use, health education issues as related to children, and related aspects of medical anthropology will find the book fascinating and informative. The authors, largely PhDs with some MD contribution, have backgrounds in pharmacosociology, medical anthropology, pharmacology, and cultural anthropology. They are experts in their fields throughout the world. Although this book is sparsely illustrated, the illustrations and tables are sufficient to complement the text. The references are quite up-to-date. As a multiauthored volume there is a feeling of some lack of continuity throughout the work, a shortcoming partially overcome by a detailed table of contents and an extensive index. This book is truly unique in that its topic is one thatheretofore has not been adequately dealt with in the literature. Readers of varying backgrounds will find the diversity of topics both interesting and informative. Certain areas are truly novel in their approach. Where else could one learn the national diversity which exists in the contents of medicine cabinets throughout the world? Just about everyone can find some aspect of this book worthwhile. Pediatric care providers, social anthropologists, and health educators can learn much from this work.
Booknews
The 22 chapters in this volume represent the research work of specialists in seven different disciplines from ten countries and provide a multicultural, multidisciplinary view of how children in the US and European countries use medicines. The premise is that beliefs, expectations and behaviors regarding medicines are learned in childhood and are influenced by families and culture. The discussions include: research methodologies; cross-cultural reports on medicines used for treating childhood illnesses; children's perspectives on illness and treatments; and the implications of the findings for pharmacologists, policy makers, and health educators. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560249375
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Editors
Contributors
Foreword
Preface
Ch. 1 The History of the COMAC Childhood and Medicines Project: A Reflection on Multidisciplinary Research 1
Ch. 2 Cross-Cultural Comparative Research: A Discourse on Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies 9
Ch. 3 Hierarchies, Boundaries, and Symbols: Medicine Use and the Cultural Performance of Childhood Sickness 31
Ch. 4 Acquiring Medicines in Europe and the USA 55
Ch. 5 Medicines at Home: The Contents of Medicine Cabinets in Eight Countries
Ch. 6 Perception and Treatment of Childhood Fever in Athens, Chapel Hill, Jyvaskyla, Madrid, and Tenerife
Ch. 7 Children's Perceived Benefit of Medicines in Chapel Hill, Madrid, and Tenerife 127
Ch. 8 Decision Makers in the Treatment of Childhood Illness in Madrid, Tenerife, and Chapel Hill 155
Ch. 9 Sweet and Cozy or Bitter and Bored? Children's Anamneses of Illness Episodes and Medicines 173
Ch. 10 Concepts of Adverse Drug Reactions Among Children in Eight Countries 193
Ch. 11 "Preferably Half a Tablet": Health-Seeking Behavior When Dutch Children Get Ill 209
Ch. 12 The Use of Conventional and Unconventional Medicines to Treat Illnesses of German Children 229
Ch. 13 Children's Perspectives on Illness and Medicines: Yugoslavia 255
Ch. 14 Self-Medication Among Families with Children in Jyvaskyla, Finland 275
Ch. 15 From Catching a Cold to Eating Junk Food: Conceptualization of Illness Among Finnish Children 295
Ch. 16 Children's Knowledge of Medicines in Trieste, Italy: Situations and Perspectives 319
Ch. 17 Implications for the Health Care Provider: Viewpoint of a Pediatrician 331
Ch. 18 Grasping the Children's Point of View? An Anthropological Reflection 337
Ch. 19 Implications for Health Educators 347
Ch. 20 Implications for Health Policy 353
Ch. 21 Pharmacoepidemiology and Children 375
Ch. 22 Drugs for Children: View from a Pharmacoepidemiologist 385
Index 395
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