Key Terms and Concepts - Key Terms and Concepts Health...

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Key Terms and Concepts: Health: refers to a physical, social and psychological state of well being. Illness: encompasses the human experience and perceptions of alterations in health as informed by their broader social and cultural meaning. Disease : outward clinical manifestations of altered physical functions or infections. Sickness: inclusive term of all unwanted states and variations on the physical, social and psychological dimensions of health. Also a given state based on the complex interactions between human biology and culture. Brown’s 5 approaches of Medical Anthropology : biological, ethnomedical, critical, ecological, applied. Illness and healing are basic human experiences that are best understood holistically in the complex and varied interactions between human biology and culture and disease is an aspect influenced by these behaviors and circumstances. The human body and symptoms are interpreted through cultural filters of beliefs and epistemological assumptions and cultural healing systems have important pragmatic consequences for the acceptability, efficacy and improvement of health care. Anthropology’s research methods : cultural immersion, human ecology (how people interact with their natural environments), lingusitic analysis, archaeological analysis. Holism: Studying a culture as whole, including all of its socioeconomical, traditons, cultural heritage and aspects as it relates to their theories on the body and healing. Cultural relativism : how an illness is associated in a culture, with all of the structures going along with is. Viewing it as a whole and suspending our beliefs to examine other cultures. Personalistic systems : explain sickness as the result of supernatural forces directed at a patient, either by a sorcerer or by an angry spirit. Naturalistic systems : explain sickness in terms of natural forces, like germ theory of contagion in Western biomedicine or the imbalance of humors in China, India and Mediterranean systems. Nocebo: harmful, unpleasant or undesirable reactions that a subject manifested as a result of an inert dummy drug, due entirely to the person’s pessimistic belief and expectation that the drug would produce harmful, injurious, unpleasant or undesirable effects. “Self willed” disease or symptoms due to suggestion or psychological disorder. Placebo : medical phenomena in which a psychologically inert drug or treatment improves a person’s condition relative to someone with the same condition who receives no treatment.
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