The fifth edition of this classic textbook that to explore the origins, nature and context of illness in society, and provides a framework for understanding the relationship between health, health care and the society in which it occurs. Divided into 14 clinically relevant chapters (from Going to the Doctor, through to The Social Role of Medicine), this highly readable book gives a coherent, integrated account that will enable students to understand 'illness behaviour' and what lies behind a given patient's decision to see a doctor about this problem, now.
The author is, in addition to being a highly acclaimed medical sociologist, a clinician by training and experience who understands the practical importance of the fundamental concepts that guide his specialty.
About the Author
King's College, London
Table of ContentsGoing to the doctor: the experience of symptoms, illness behaviour, importance of illness behaviour for the doctor, illness behaviour and the medical model
measuring health and illness
mortality, morbidity prevalence studies, sickness absence rates, caseload, measures of functioning, self-report measures, subjective health measures, quality of life measures
social causes of illnesses: causal models, establishing a causal relationship, social factors, social integration, social support, life events
labelling behaviour - primary deviance, secondary deviance, stigma, disability and handicap, labelling and psychiatric disease
social patterns of illness 1: explaining illness patterns, historical changes, geography, occupation, gender, ethnicity, unemployment
social patterns of illness 2: age, social class
coping with illness - managing labels, coping with chronic illness, carers
models of illness - exploring abdominal pain, symptoms and pathology, biographical medicine, alternative models of illness, models of the doctor-patient relationship
Types of health care: self-care, family care, community care, self-help groups, professional care
Clinical autonomy: controlling information, controlling costs, paying the doctor, evaluating the doctors' decisions
Delivering health care
Allocating scarce resources, the market for health care in the USA, government provision of health care in the UK, towards a National Health Service
Evaluating health care: is the health care system effective/efficient? Does the health care system meet the 'real' needs of its consumers? Is the health care system fair? Is the health care systemiatrogenic?
The social basis of disease: defining disease, normality in medicine, the biological basis of disease
The social role of medicine: illness as a deviance, the doctor as agent of social control, explaining the place of medicine.