Thick description as an aid in medical investigation


MORAD Tagrid

Rok publikování 2021
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Journal of Alternative Medicine Research
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Klíčová slova Learning in context; Margaret Mead; thick description; medicine; ethnographic autobiography
Popis Margaret Mead’s ethnographic autobiography Blackberry Winter: My Earlier Years from 1972, included insights of medical significance. Her work is of great value when searching for learning in context tools. The aim of this article is not to look for medical cases or patients or diseases, but to learn from the skill of the ethnographer, specifically thick description, and how this expertise aids the physician in interpreting the evidence and exploring the patient’s experience, belief, and even the natural history of the disease. While the inclusion of any ethnic group in interventional research was and is almost impossible, literature and specifically life writing genres could assist in understanding the link between culture and disease, to tailor medical interventions to promote the health of these communities. Margaret Mead dedicated most of her research to native groups and could offer relevant insights into health. I aim to list several examples of thick description related to health issues from her autobiography and discuss the contribution of literature to medical investigation. This small study will try to capture the possible impact of thick description on the holistic comprehension of the physician of the patient’s context on his disease and health. Literature helps understand the lifestyle and health of ethnic groups and is a significant source of information for health professionals to accommodate culturally sensitive medical interventions. The health system has a greater chance of improving health by changes embedded in the native culture.
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