Matching Items (4)

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From the Physician's Perspective: Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States

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The United States is experiencing an increase in the prevalence and influence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patient healthcare, reflecting the increasingly positive public and professional attitudes on

The United States is experiencing an increase in the prevalence and influence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patient healthcare, reflecting the increasingly positive public and professional attitudes on the use of CAM therapies. Despite the growing presence of CAM in U.S. healthcare, there are still many barriers to integration. This study aims to reveal the attitudes of conventional, integrative and CAM practitioners concerning the major challenges of CAM's integration, explore their proposed solutions, and reveal any discrepancies in these attitudes among different types of practitioners. Twenty-eight practitioners were interviewed on the challenges in the five facets of CAM's integration: integration into hospitals, integration into medical schools, insurance coverage for CAM, licensing & regulation of CAM practitioners, and clinical research in CAM. The overall positive attitudes on the benefits of CAM's integration support previous research on the subject; however, the conventional practitioners were unable to extend these benefits to real-world application, and they were unaware of many of the challenges facing CAM's integration. The CAM practitioners attributed many of the problems facing integration to the inability of CAM's philosophy to comply with the current ideology of medical academia, health insurance model, and laws that govern the licensing and regulation of medical practitioners. The CAM and integrative practitioners perceived there to be a large resistance from conventional practitioners, specifically concerning the integration of CAM into education, providing insurance coverage for CAM, and the licensing and regulation of CAM practitioners. They attributed this to a perceived lack of research on safe and effective treatments in CAM. The conventional practitioner responses reflected this weariness of treatment effectiveness in their responses. However, the CAM and integrative practitioners believed these claims to be largely inaccurate, and constructed by the influence and manipulation of large-scale medical corporations and organizations. The participants believed that more evidence-based research in CAM, and increased public awareness in CAM therapies will force conventional practitioners to increase their knowledge in CAM, helping to alleviate their fears and skepticism of CAM therapies. By easing these concerns, dialogue can occur among practitioners of different modalities that will help to ensure a smooth integration of CAM and will raise the quality of patient healthcare by providing safe and effective resources for alternate forms of treatment.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Biomedicalization of Studying

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The nonmedical use of prescription ADHD medications by American college students for the purpose of enhancing academic performance has been well-documented for more than a decade. A closer look at

The nonmedical use of prescription ADHD medications by American college students for the purpose of enhancing academic performance has been well-documented for more than a decade. A closer look at this trend through the lens of biomedicalization theory shows us that this behavior, which is often dismissed as a simple abuse of the system by deviant young people, is consistent with broader trends in post-modern medicine and health. The goal of this project was to describe the biomedicalization of studying by illustrating the historical, sociocultural, and politico-economic roots of nonmedical stimulant use by college students in the United States. An online survey was administered to students at ASU and responses from students studying in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (n=233) were analyzed. A 12.4% lifetime prevalence of illicit stimulant use was found among the sample population. Thematic analysis was performed on students' open-ended commentary and several themes related to the biomedicalization framework were uncovered including Necessity, Identity, Inextricability from academia, and Trust in the system. Through these themes it was found that many of the theorized transitions of biomedicalization were visible in the data set, confirming the idea that nonmedical stimulant use is embedded in the complex network of processes that represents post-modern medicine today.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Intergenerational variation in cultural models of body size in Puerto Rico

Description

Culture informs ideas about healthy and acceptable body types. Through globalization the U.S.-European body model has become increasingly significant in local contexts, influencing local body models. While Puerto Ricans have

Culture informs ideas about healthy and acceptable body types. Through globalization the U.S.-European body model has become increasingly significant in local contexts, influencing local body models. While Puerto Ricans have historically valued plump bodies - a biocultural legacy of a historically food scarce environment - this dissertation investigated shifts in these ideals across generations to a stronger preference for thinness. A sample of 23 intergenerational family triads of women, and one close male relative or friend per woman, were administered quantitative questionnaires. Ethnographic interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of women from 16 triads and 1 quintet. Questions about weight history and body sizes were used to address cultural changes in body models. Findings indicate the general trend for all generations has been a reduction in the spectrum of acceptable bodies to an almost singular idealized thin body. Female weight gain during puberty and influence of media produced varied responses across age groups. Overall, Puerto Ricans find it acceptable to gain weight with ageing, during a divorce, and postpartum. Thin bodies are associated with beauty and health, but healthy women that do not resemble the thin ideal, submit themselves to dangerous weight loss practices to achieve self and social acceptance. Further research and direct interventions need to be conducted to alter perceptions that conflate beauty with health in order to address the `normative discontent' women of all ages experience. Weight discrimination and concern with being overweight were evident in Puerto Rican everyday life, indicated by the role of media and acculturation in this study. Anti-fat attitudes were stronger for individuals that identified closely with United States culture. Exposure to drama and personal transformation television programs are associated with increased body image dissatisfaction, and increased exposure to variety shows and celebrity news shows is associated with increased anti-fat attitudes and body dissatisfaction. In sum, the positive valuation of fat in the Puerto Rican cultural body size model in the 1970s has shifted toward a negative valuation of fat and a preference for thin body size.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Tuberculosis, social inequality, and the hospital in nineteenth-century Scotland

Description

Medical practice surrounding tuberculosis (TB) treatment in two nineteenth-century Scottish charitable hospitals reveals that in developing empirically-positioned constructs of this and related diseases, medical practitioners drew upon social assumptions about

Medical practice surrounding tuberculosis (TB) treatment in two nineteenth-century Scottish charitable hospitals reveals that in developing empirically-positioned constructs of this and related diseases, medical practitioners drew upon social assumptions about women and the working classes, thus reinforcing rather than shedding cultural notions of who becomes ill and why. TB is a social disease, its distribution determined by relationships among human groups; primary among these is the patient-practitioner relationship, owing to the social role of medical treatment in restoring the ill to both health and society. To clarify the influence of cultural context upon the evolution of medical constructs of TB, I examined Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) ward journals, admissions registers, and institution management records from 1794 through 1905. Medical practice at the turn of the nineteenth century was dominated by observation and questioning of the patient, concordant with conceptions of physicians' labor as mental rather than physical. This changed with the introduction of the stethoscope in the 1820s, which together with the dissection of the poor allowed by the 1832 Anatomy Act ushered in disease concepts emphasizing pathological anatomy. Relationships between patient and practitioner also altered at this time, exhibiting distrust and medical dominance. The mid-Victorian era was notable for clinicians' increasing interest in immorality's contributions to ill health, absent in earlier practice and linked to conceptions of women and the working classes as inherently pathological. In 1882, discovery of the tubercle bacillus challenged existing nutritional, hereditary, and environmental explanations for TB. Although practitioners utilized bacteriological methods, this discovery did not revolutionize diagnosis or treatment. Rather, these older models were incorporated with perceived behavioral, environmental, and biological degradation of the working classes, rendering marginalized groups "soil" prepared for the "seeds" of disease -- at risk, but also to blame. This framework, in which marginalized groups contribute to their increased risk for disease through refusal to accord with hegemonically-established "healthy" behavior, persists. As a result, meaningful change in TB rates will need to address these longstanding contributions of social inequality to Western medical treatment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013