Causes of illness in clinical practice: A conceptual exploration [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 9 (3):285-291 (2006)
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This paper explores causation in the context of health care practice, in particular, primary care. Causation in health care is necessarily premised on the concepts of disease and illness and the ways they are deviations from health. The paper reviews and broadly categorises concepts of illness most commonly found in the literature in terms of the biomedical, biopsychosocial, and agency models. It is argued that although each model has its place in the gamut of health care practice, primary care implicitly or explicitly uses an agency model most frequently. By explicitly acknowledging the role that patients’ values and expectations have in utilising their physiological, psychological and social capacities to live their lives, clinicians can gain a clearer understanding of how a situation has come about and why it has become a health problem for the patient



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