Document Detail

Patient empowerment and control: a psychological discourse in the service of medicine.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14499519     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The discourse of the patient as an active agent in managing illness and health care has become very important in medicine. It is seen in the significance attached to patient empowerment and participation, and in the burgeoning research into patients' coping with illness. The discourse cannot be fully understood from within conventional scientific frameworks because it is part of those frameworks. Instead, its current prominence can be understood by examining how it meets the needs of those who use it. Specifically, it has combined with earlier discourses of disease in a way that allows clinicians to withdraw from responsibility for areas of patient need that are problematic for medicine, such as unexplained symptoms, chronic disease and pain. This view is supported by evidence about how the discourse of patient as agent has been used in clinical consultation to constrain doctors' responsibility for patients' suffering. This discourse and other ways in which doctors and patients influence the boundaries of medical responsibility should be subjects for, rather than constraints on, empirical research.
Peter Salmon; George M Hall
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  57     ISSN:  0277-9536     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2003 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-09-22     Completed Date:  2003-12-10     Revised Date:  2005-05-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1969-80     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological
Attitude of Health Personnel*
Health Services Research
Patient Participation / psychology*
Personal Autonomy
Physician-Patient Relations*
Power (Psychology)
Social Responsibility
Sociology, Medical*
Stress, Psychological / etiology,  therapy

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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