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Title:Understanding the Patient Experience With Alternative Health Care: The Example of The Wholistic Health Center
Author(s):Glasser, Michael Lloyd
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, General
Abstract:The focus of this research is the patient experience at and use of services in a (w)holistic health care setting. Although generally acknowledged to be increasing, there is little documentation of the patient experience and patient understanding in a whole person care setting. This research examines and describes the patient dimension exploring the social nature of health and illness as patient and physician interact and contributing to the understanding of a relatively new arena of health care delivery.
In the examination of the patient experience, a strategy of methodological triangulation was used. Data were collected from four sources: records of patient visits, interviews with patients, observations at health centers, and a mailed questionnaire of patient attitudes and perceptions. Analysis entailed using data generated from the four techniques to establish patterns in patient contact and patient experience with wholistic care.
Patient contact in relation to the wholistic approach is characterized by a high degree of "variability," where patients pursue different paths in their encounter with the care and indicate a wide range in evaluation, understanding, and outcome of the care. There is a distinction in pursuing the care and maintaining a relationship with the wholistic center between understanding the wholistic nature of the care and focusing on some other quality of the care--e.g. friendliness, open channels of communication, etc. Generally, movement within the context of such care is not necessarily in the direction of "becoming" a wholistic patient but is toward development of workable relations and mutual understanding.
Implications are important at two levels. First, for health care delivery, it appears that patient use of an alternative mode does not necessarily proceed along the lines of a "true-believer." In fact, many patients use services in ways not inconsistent with use of traditional health care providers. Second, in terms of conceptualizations of health and illness behavior, findings indicate the necessity for viewing the patient-physician relationship, from the patient's side, as part of an ongoing social reality--rather than on an encounter-by-encounter basis or in relation to the component parts of Parsons' sick role.
Issue Date:1983
Description:294 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8309946
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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