3 pages/≈825 words
Health, Medicine, Nursing
Biomedicine (Annotated Bibliography Sample)
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT: Here in Toronto, we live in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community, where many people deal with health concerns by combining Western biomedicine with non-western medicine, alternative therapies or spiritual healing. The majority of us use mainstream biomedicine - the doctor, the nurse, the hospital, the clinic, prescription medicines. But at the same time, we also employ practices which challenge this mainstream ethos. We seek physical well-being through spiritual means. We use meditation, exercise or vitamin therapy to attain a sense of balance and health. We visit massage therapists, chiropractors and health food stores. This is medical pluralism, the process by which people take advantage of a variety of health techniques and strategies that are based on different models of health and healing. Understanding medical pluralism and how it functions helps us to appreciate the contours and complexities of ‘health' in the social and cultural contexts, allowing us to ‘situate' biomedicine as one amongst a multiplicity of systems. This project takes you out into the field as a health researcher in medical pluralism. You are to do this by interviewing an individual about their ‘health' strategies and pursuing the following lines of investigation: - When do they use mainstream Western biomedicine and when do they turn to other options? - Are there kinds of illnesses/health conditions that people see as ‘belonging' to biomedicine, spiritual healing, non-western systems or alternative medicine? - What do they see as valuable in biomedicine? What do they see as valuable in other healing systems? - How important are ethnicity, gender, age and class in determining healing choices? - What kinds of healing activities that they use take place in the private sphere (the home) and what take place in the public sphere (the hospital, the clinic, the doctor's office)? - What is ‘missing' from the Western biomedicine system that these people find elsewhere? - What is seen as attractive or useful in biomedical systems of healing? - Can you ascertain a process of ‘referral' (either formal or informal) whereby prospective patients seek out alternative healing options? To establish an intellectual base for this project you will need to review your lecture notes from the first section of the course, in particular notes from the lectures on Non-Western Medicine and Folk and Alternative Health. Based on your own field data and careful reading of secondary sources, create an analytical model of medical pluralism. The grade you receive for this project will be determined by the quality of your analysis and your writing, but also the strength of your research data and your secondary sources. If you follow the guidelines for locating secondary literature set out on page 5 of this handout, (i.e. look at the recommended journals!), this will be a great advantage to you. Note as well that there are specific requirements for typeface, spacing, citation, etc. Students should begin this project by finding a person who is willing to spend an hour speaking with them on this topic. Please keep in mind that this person cannot be under the age of 16 or an incompetent adult. Remember that you cannot conduct your interview until your project proposal has been successfully reviewed by the course director or tutorial leader. At this point you will receive a consent form which must be signed by your interview subject before you begin your interview. PROJECT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: - To apply course concepts to a real life situation - To understand and apply ethical research principles and practices. - To understand and apply ethical writing practices. - To plan and carry out a research project using data collected during field research and analysis and information gained through use of appropriate secondary sources. - To locate, use and cite relevant scholarly secondary sources to support your own data. - To create a polish scholarly research paper. ORGANIZATION OF THE PROJECT: Students must first complete Part 1 of the project (proposal, interview schedule, preliminary list of references, ethics statement). PART 1: PROPOSAL, INTERVIEW QUESTIONS, PRELIMINARY LIST OF REFERENCES & ETHICS STATEMENT - Students must draw up a project proposal which includes the following: a statement of their objective(s) in the project, a description of the individual they are going to interview, and an explanation of why they have chosen this individual. Please note that the interview subject must remain anonymous. - The proposal must include a list of 20 questions which the student intends to ask their interview subject in order to gain data to meet the objectives which they have outlined. Remember that open-ended questions that elicit a full answer rather than ‘yes' or ‘no' are best. Use phrases such as “Describe…” or “Tell me about…” - Students must include a brief (5 articles or books – no websites please!) annotated list of references of appropriate scholarly works which they intend to use in their analysis of the results of their project – works that you have found yourself in the library stacks or through e-journals. You are required to use the APA system of citation for citation and references. An annotated list of references is a full citation of the relevant book or article which is followed by a brief, 3-4 sentence description of the source listed. See attached sheets titled: “HOW TO FIND SECONDARY SOURCES” & “CORRECT SCHOLARLY CITATION.” - Students must read 's Ethics website at: http://www(dot)yorku(dot)ca/secretariat/policies/document.php?document=94 (focus on Section 1: General Principles and 2 (a) Principles of Informed Consent and include a 100-word summary in their own words of their understanding of the ethical implications of interviewing people for research purposes source..
Medical Pluralism – The interview
Medical pluralism is the process whereby people take advantage of various health strategies and techniques, which are based on a variety of health and healing models. It involves the integration of Western medicine with Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) (Kaptchuk & Eisenberg, 2001). With this project, I went out to the field as a health researcher who specializes in medical pluralism, and interviewed an individual about their health strategies. The interview process pursued the following line research:
When do they use mainstream Western biomedicine and when do they turn to other options?
The investigation revealed that the people use the mainstream Western biomedicine for severe health conditions that cannot be healed using their alternative medicine, for instance diabetes, HIV/AIDS or lung cancer. However, they turn to non-western medicine such as alternative therapies or spiritual healing mostly when dealing with simple illnesses such as depression, headaches or simply for their own well-being and to keep diseases at bay. Moreover, they also turn to alternative medicine when biomedicine fails, for instance when trying to heal mental illness or disabilities. They use non-western medicine mostly because of their ethnic and cultural beliefs concerning particular health conditions. Since Toronto is filled with people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, who moved there from different regions around the world, most of these people have not fully embraced Western biomedicine, and still apply cultural practices when dealing with some health concerns. The city is populated with people from European, Latin and Asian communities and the Chinese brought with them Chinese medicine.
Are there kinds of illnesses/health conditions that people see as ‘belonging’ to biomedicine, spiritual healing, non-western systems or alternative medicine?
There are kinds of health conditions that people see as belonging to biomedicine, spiritual healing or alternative medicine. For instance, preventable illnesses such as HIV, lung cancer and obesity are seen as belonging to biomedicine. Some illnesses are believed to be caused by spirits, for instance mental illnesses and therefore, people apply alternative healing with regard to those health conditions such as meditation or prayer. Moreover, health conditions such as body aches, depression, constipation and headaches are seen to belong to alternative medicine, and they use herbal medicine such as the Chinese green tea to heal patients.
What do they see as valuable in biomedicine?
In biomedicine, the people see as valuable the quality, reliability and effectiveness of Western medicine in treating some health conditions and diseases, and in so doing reducing deaths.
What do they see as valuable in other healing systems?
What they find valuable in oth...
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