An Outline of Sociology as Applied to Medicine

An Outline of Sociology as Applied to Medicine

3rd Edition - July 19, 1989

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  • Author: David Armstrong
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483183701

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An Outline of Sociology as Applied to Medicine, Third Edition provides an understanding of the origins, nature, and context of illness in society. This book discusses the relationship between health care and the society in which it occurs. Organized into 15 chapters, this edition begins with an overview of some deficiencies of the biomedical model of illness. This text then explores the traditional medical model, which holds that disease is a lesion inside the human body that produces two types of indicator of its presence, namely, the signs and symptoms. Other chapters consider the difference of perspectives between doctor and patients. This book discusses as well the presence of various biological causes of illness that is strongly influenced by social factors. The final chapter deals with the social significance of medicine. This book is a valuable resource for sociologists. Primary care physicians and specialists will also find this book extremely useful.

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the Third Edition

    1 Introduction

    2 Going to the Doctor

    The Experience of Symptoms

    Illness Behavior

    Importance of Illness Behavior for the Doctor

    Illness Behavior and the Medical Model

    3 Measuring Health and Illness


    Morbidity Prevalence Studies

    Sickness Absence Rates


    Measures of Functioning

    Self-Report Measures

    Subjective Health Measures

    Quality of Life Measures

    4 Social Causes of Illness

    Causal Models

    Establishing a Causal Relationship

    Social Factors

    Social Integration

    Social Support

    Life Events

    5 Labeling Behavior

    Primary Deviance

    Secondary Deviance


    Disability and Handicap

    Labeling and Psychiatric Disease

    6 Social Patterns of Illness: I

    Explaining Illness Patterns

    Historical Changes






    7 Social Patterns of Illness: II


    Social Class

    8 Coping with Illness

    Managing Labels

    Coping with Chronic Illness


    9 Models of Illness

    Exploring Abdominal Pain

    Symptoms and Pathology

    Biographical Medicine

    Alternative Models of Illness

    Models of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

    10 Types of Health Care


    Family Care

    Community Care

    Self-Help Groups

    Professional Care

    11 Clinical Autonomy

    Controlling Information

    Controlling Costs

    Paying the Doctor

    Evaluating Doctors' Decisions

    12 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

    13 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 System Iatrogenic?

    14 The Social Basis of Disease

    Defining Disease

    Normality in Medicine

    The Biological Basis of Disease

    15 The Social Role of Medicine

    Illness as a Deviance

    The Doctor as Agent of Social Control

    Explaining the Place of Medicine



Product details

  • No. of pages: 150
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 1989
  • Published: July 19, 1989
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483183701

About the Author

David Armstrong

Affiliations and Expertise

National Institute of Environmental Health Science, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, U.S.A.

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