The goals of this two year project are: a) to test hypotheses and explore research questions bearing on illness management strategies and on socio-cultural and psychosocial factors that influence the onset improvement and resolution of an illness perceived by patients seeking treatment in a Mexico City hospital; b) to gain an understanding of the ways in which biomedicine, spawned in America, becomes molded and interpreted in the Mexican social and cultural contexts. The proposed project builds upon the PI's 15 years previous field research of folk therapeutics in Mexico which had examined health seeking behavior and patients' responses to Spiritualist treatment and their attribution for recovery, using multi-method research techniques and analyses, including ethnographic description, participant observation, open ended discussion, interview schedules, standardized health questionnaires and consultation with physicians. The proposed project, employing similar methodologies, will shift the focus from the folk to the professional sectors of Mexico's health care delivery and will thereby allow a comparison of utilization of the different systems. Theoretically the research will contribute to the study of the relation between stress, culture and illness & to the anthropology of biomedicine. Practically, while much is known about folk healing utilization, little is known about Mexican patients' perceptions and expectations of biomedical treatment, or the interaction between the folk and professional medical sectors. The findings will assist health providers to address patients' concerns: thereby improve primary health care delivery in Mexico as well as among Mexican Americans in the United States.
|Finkler, Kaja (2004) Biomedicine globalized and localized: western medical practices in an outpatient clinic of a Mexican hospital. Soc Sci Med 59:2037-51|
|Finkler, K (2000) Diffusion reconsidered: variation and transformation in biomedical practice, a case study from Mexico. Med Anthropol 19:Jan-39|
|Finkler, K (1989) The universality of nerves. Health Care Women Int 10:171-9|