Medical Sociology Exam 1
Terms in this set (54)
The scientific study of human society and social interactions.
Sociological perspective emphasizes...
Social groups, processes, and institutions as the context in which individual behavior unfolds. Public issues over personal troubles. Differential access to power. Emphasis on patterned, collective experience. Highlights factors such as social class and gender.
What do medical sociologists study?
Social causes and consequences of health and illness.
Experience and interpretation of illness.
Structure and culture of health organizations and the training of health-care providers.
Work experiences of health-care providers.
Health care "system" as a whole.
Medical sociology is an important field of study because
it recognizes the critical role social factors play in shaping the health of individuals, groups, and the larger society.
A correlation between two variables that does not result from any direct relation between them. Due to the naturally-occurring character of most social data. Challenges the idea that X causes Y.
Sociology "of" medicine
Characterized as more nearly sociological research that's simply done in a medical setting (norms, values, roles, organizational issues, etc.)
Sociology "in" medicine
Characterized as applied research and analysis motivated by a medical problem (usually define by those in medicine).
Most medical sociology research now
is of practical utility, in part due to funding requirements. Training of those doing medical sociology tends to create common approaches.
Tended to rely on magic, religion, or folklore to "explain" disease and illness.
Viewed as the first to use rational thought to understand the body; recognizes contribution of the environment to human well-being.
Introduced a split in responsibility for human well-being: Church attends to social needs while physicians focus on physical ailments.
Medicine of the species
Gave strong emphasis on classifying diseases, diagnosing and treating patients, and finding cures.
Medicine of social spaces
Concerned with preventing disease, especially through government involvement in matters of public hygiene.
Rejects supernatural explanations for disease and treats it as an object to be studied, confronted scientifically, and controlled.
The "public's health" (19th century)
Systematic implementation of public health measures and improvements in public sanitation. Declining mortality rates from infectious diseases. Improvements in pop's health mainly due to improvements in diet, housing, public sanitation, and personal hygiene instead of medical innovations.
"Germ theory of disease" (late 19th-20th century)
Biomedical approach: every disease has a specific pathogenic cause best treated by removing or controlling that cause. Little attention to social causes. Search for drugs as "magic bullets" that could be "shot" into the body to kill or control health disorders.
"Whole person" health care (late 20th-21st century)
Transition from infectious to chronic diseases as leading causes of death around 1950. Recognition that social environment and lifestyle practices influence chronic diseases encourages emphasis in medicine on treating the "whole person." Treat the "problems of living" - not all biological problems. Increasing emphasis on positive and negative "health lifestyles" and "adverse social conditions" such as poverty.
First epidemiological transition
Occurred around 10,000 years ago. Human societies shifted from foraging to agriculture. Marked by the emergence of novel infectious and nutritional diseases.
Second epidemiological transition
About 200 years ago. Improved nutrition and living standards, public health measures, and medical advances in developes societies led to a decline in infectious diseases and a rise in chronic and degenerative diseases.
Third epidemiological transition
Beginning now. Resurgence of infectious diseases previously thought to be under control. The potential for the spread of infectious diseases has been significantly enhanced in today's world by the globalization of trade and travel.
West Nile Virus
First appeared in NYC in summer of 1999. Puzzled health officials since the disease had not been seen before in the Western hemisphere. Spread throughout the U.S. Peak cases and mortality in 2006. For most, a mild headache, but kids, elders, and those with weak immune systems can experience encephalitis (muscle weakness, seizures, comas, cessation of breathing).
Four factors responsible for dramatic increase of STDs
1) Birth control pill reduced fears of unwanted pregnancy.
2) Ideology of sexual liberation and permissiveness among young urban adults throughout the world.
3) New pattern of migrant employment in developing nations spreads STDs acquired in urban areas to the countryside.
4) Multiple sex partners (most important risk factor).
Takes place when people knowingly prepare biological agents or gases and use them to deliberately induce illness and death among other people.
Area of study focused on ethical decisions and practices with respect to medical care, research, and rights regarding our bodies.
Unethical behavior that spawned regulation
Nazi medical experiments during WWII.
Long-term "Tuskegee Syphilis Study" 1932-1972
Institutional Review Boards
Have oversight of research. Ensure fully informed voluntary patient consent, acceptable risk-benefit ratios, and guaranteed patient anonymity and confidentiality.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996
Regulates the handling of patient data and privacy.
Studies the origin, distribution, and causes of a wide array of health problems. A multi-disciplinary field including sociologists, physicians, biologists, veterinarians, statisticians, and many more. Primary focus is on the health problems of large groups.
An episode of a disorder, illness, or injury involving a person.
The total number of cases of a health disorder that exist at any given time.
The number of cases at a certain point in time, usually a particular day or week.
The total number of cases during a specified period of time, usually a month or year.
The number of people who have had the health problem at least once during their lifetime.
The number of new cases of a health disorder within a given population during a stated period of time.
The number of persons (cases) who have the characteristics being measured during a specific unit of time (cases / population). E.g. birth rates and mortality rates. Usually expressed in terms of X per 1,000 people.
Shows differences by age in the distribution of health problems. E.g. infant mortality rate.
Infant mortality rate
Measures the deaths of all infants in a geographical area under age one (deaths among those < 1) / (total live births). Often used as an approximate indicator of a society's standard of living and quality of the health care system.
Symptoms, illnesses, and impairments. Often expressed as "rate of serious morbidity."
A disease with a high prevalence.
Significant increase in people affected by a disease (or the first appearance of a new disease).
A worldwide epidemic.
Investigated cholera in London. Mapped out cases of infection, interviewed victims, and traced their daily activities to a common source: a contaminated water source (the Broad Street pump). Provided the foundation of modern epidemiological methods.
Refers to actual living conditions, such as poverty or crowding, and also the norms, values, and attitudes that reflect a particular social and cultural context of living.
Sanitary era (early 1800s)
Focus was largely on sewage and drainage systems, and the major preventative measure was the introduction of sanitation programs.
Infectious disease era (1870s-1950s)
Principal preventative approach was to break the chain of transmission between the agent and the host.
Chronic disease era (1950s-2000)
Focus was on controlling risk factors by modifying lifestyles, agents, or the environment.
Eco-epidemiology era (2000-present)
Preventative measures are multidisciplinary as scientists from many fields deal with a variety of health problems at the molecular, social behavioral, population, and global levels.
Characterized by higher birth and death rates and a young population.
Characterized by reduced mortality from infectious disease, increases in life expectancy, declines in infant mortality, and increases in mortality from heart disease, cancer, and other physical ailments associated with modern living.
Heart disease (CVD)
Leading cause of death in the U.S. (about 1/3). Huge change over time (less now than in 1950) prompted by advances in medicine, surgery, and pharmaceutical products and various social changes.
Cockerham: Lower your risk of heart disease if you change 4 aspects of lifestyle:
1) Avoid smoking (leading cause of sudden cardiac death).
2) Control high blood pressure.
3) Lower LDL cholesterol.
4) Exercise and avoid being or becoming obese.
HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
Appeared in 1979. Transmission rooted in social behaviors. In males, most are homosexual, bisexual, and/or IV drug users. In females, transmitted mostly via heterosexual contact with infected males. Also IV drug use.
Africa - most cases. Mostly heterosexual contact. Most cases are women.
Europe - most in Eastern Europe. Homosexual activity and IV drug use.
Asia - most in South/SE Asia. Heterosexual activity, especially via migrant labor systems and prostitution.
Latin America - originally through homosexual activity and IV drug use, but now spreading to women through bisexual activity by men.
Past outbreaks like the 1918 Spanish Flu killed about 40 million people worldwide. Recent outbreaks like H1N1 and H5N1 have the potential to become serious pandemics.