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How Does The Term Medicalization Apply To Menopause

Limitations And Weaknesses Of The Study

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This study does not seek to generalise its findings to the general population. It describes the experiences of the participants in depth in order to present their perceptions, strengths and expressed needs. It is possible that the findings of this study may be transferable to other settings in which middle class Turkish women from Muslim backgrounds reside.

The study sample reflects the demographics of the patient population attending the family medicine and gynaecology clinics of a university hospital, which are available to those who hold health insurance or can afford to pay the fee for service.

Medicalized Dying And The Goals Of Medicine

Perhaps medicalized dying and the rescue fantasy would be compatible with medicine if medicine were oriented solely toward the control of death and the indefinite extension of life. But it is not. Death control and delay are not medicines ends they are subject to its broader aim.

What, then, is the aim of medicine? In a classic essay, the bioethicist Leon Kass suggests that the goal of medicine is promoting health, which he describes as wholeness. He writes, The English word health literally means wholeness, and to heal means to make whole.. To be whole is to be healthy, and to be healthy is to be whole.20 Health is not simply physical health, however. The psychiatrist George Engel declared in the 1970s that a reductionist, strictly biomedical view of the patient was insufficient. He proposed instead a new modelthe biopsychosocial modelto replace the disease model of illness.21 Since then, other scholars have expanded the model further, calling for a biopsychosociospiritual approach to medicine.22

Medicalization And Medical Technology

Medicalization is often accompanied by the growth of medical technologies. In fact, medicalization is encouraged by the drug companies, who have a stake in promulgating the ideas that pregnancy, PMS, and menopause are diseases requiring treatment.

Early studies of estrogen replacement therapy, DES, and the Dalkon shield focused on their rapid diffusion into medical practice before their consequences were known and the drug companies’ delay in recalling these technologies even after their risks had become apparent. . This pattern, however, has occurred with other medical technologies unrelated to women’s health.

Some commentators fear the potential of some new medical technologies to devalue the mother while increasing the social value of the fetus. For example, the new specialty of fetal surgery results in the creation of an unborn patientâthe fetusâwhile the mother becomes peripheral to the treatment process . This trend has culminated in the fetal rights movement, in which AfricanâAmerican mothers accused of using drugs have been prosecuted for allegedly endangering fetal health or even forced to undergo Caesarian sections. In these cases, women lose control of reproduction, which has been taken over by the state.

Sergio Sismondo, in, 2015

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Finding The Proper Place For Medicalized Dying

In J.R.R. Tolkiens famous lecture on the power of storytelling, On Fairy Stories, he suggests that childrens stories should not avoid the topic of death. Rather, they should explore the shadow of death to help children begin to understand deaths inevitability. This is a lesson from which most adults also stand to benefit.

Today our societal avoidance of death has led, in part, to medicalized dying, by which we mean a dying process facilitated or prolonged by medical intervention. Dying has been removed from the home and community and transplanted in the hospital or institution in an attempt to rescue dying patients from death. Medicalization can violate the bodies of dying patients with tubes, restraints, mechanical hums, and beepsall efforts to control what remains of life and to stave off death as long as possible. It has enabled patients, their families, and physicians to delay death without necessarily promoting the health and healing of patients.

To answer this question, we will first explore medicalized dying as a crisis from which patients must be rescued. We will then consider current practices that attempt to rescue patients. Finally, we will examine the role for medicalized dying as rescue within the broader context of the goals of medicine.

Why Were Asylums Closed Down

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In the 1960s, laws were changed to limit the ability of state and local officials to admit people into mental health hospitals. This lead to budget cuts in both state and federal funding for mental health programs. As a result, states across the country began closing and downsizing their psychiatric hospitals.

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The Medicalization Of Obesity

Research published within the past few years suggests an explosion in the treatment of conditions that previously had been subjects of watchful waiting or nonpharmacologic approaches . Examples of medicalized disorders include menopause, alcoholism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , posttraumatic stress disorder , anorexia, infertility, sleep disorders, and erectile dysfunction .

For example, morbid obesity, which requires surgical treatment, is already recognized as a disease. But medicalization may lower the threshold between what is held as common overweight and morbid obesity, increasing the number of people who are viewed as sick. Considering obesity as a disease may therefore have consequences for the individuals affected, society, and the health care system .

Iv: Exemplary Case Studies Of Biocultural Studies Of Menopause

The results of several recent studies support the need for a move to interdisciplinary research. In this section we review: one of the first biocultural studies of menopause, conducted among Mayan women in Mexico a recent cross-cultural study between Japan and Australia a cross-cultural study between Japan and North America utilizing similar, comparable methodology with recent data from Japan for a longitudinal comparison.

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Longitudinal Findings From Japan And Comparisons With North America

One of the first examples of interdisciplinary, cross-cultural research to demonstrate variation in symptom reporting was completed in the 1980s. Analysis of data sets designed to be statistically comparable, comprised of 7802 Massachusetts women , 1307 Manitoban women and 1225 Japanese women , all aged between 45 and 55 inclusively, revealed differences in symptom reporting at menopause. In all three sites, samples were selected from a general and not a clinical population of women. Those women who had undergone gynaecological surgery were treated as a separate category in the analyses.

Japanese reporting in connection with feeling blue or depressed is low and not associated with menopausal status, since it is highest among premenopausal women. Canadian reporting, although higher than the Japanese, also showed little change across menopausal status. These different patterns of reporting argue strongly against any simple causal link between declining endogenous estrogen levels and reporting of depression.

The Cultural Meaning Of Illness

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Many medical sociologists contend that illnesses have both a biological and an experiential component, and that these components exist independently of each other. Our culture, not our biology, dictates which illnesses are stigmatized and which are not, which are considered disabilities and which are not, and which are deemed contestable as opposed to definitive .

For instance, sociologist Erving Goffman described how social stigmas hinder individuals from fully integrating into society. The stigmatization of illness often has the greatest effect on the patient and the kind of care he or she receives. Many contend that our society and even our health care institutions discriminate against certain diseaseslike mental disorders, AIDS, venereal diseases, and skin disorders . Facilities for these diseases may be sub-par they may be segregated from other health care areas or relegated to a poorer environment. The stigma may keep people from seeking help for their illness, making it worse than it needs to be.

Contested illnesses are those that are questioned or questionable by some medical professionals. Disorders like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome may be either true illnesses or only in the patients heads, depending on the opinion of the medical professional. This dynamic can affect how a patient seeks treatment and what kind of treatment he or she receives.

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What Is Medicalization In Sociology

Medicalization can be defined as the process by which some aspects of human life come to be considered as medical problems, whereas before they were not considered pathological. In sociology, medicalization is not a new concept. He stressed the role of doctors in deciding what was normal and what was pathological.

What Is The Sick Role In Sociology

Sick role is a term used in medical sociology regarding sickness and the rights and obligations of the affected. It is a concept created by the American sociologist Talcott Parsons in 1951. Parsons was a functionalist sociologist who argued that being sick means that the sufferer enters a role of sanctioned deviance.

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Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, Arkansas, Provider #50-2405 California, BRN Provider #CEP9784 California, LVN Provider #V10662 California, PT Provider #V10842 District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405 Florida, Provider #50-2405 Georgia, Provider #50-2405 Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2023 South Carolina, Provider #50-2405 West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Effects On Medical Education

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Medicalization of obesity could have an effect on the education of physicians. Currently, the subject receives little time or attention in medical schools, and the time it does receive focuses on obesity as a lifestyle issue rather than a physiological problem . A greater investment in obesity education would change physicians attitudes towards the illness and how it is treated. Obesity surgery and medical approaches, especially drug therapy, would be given more attention by physicians, health administrators, health insurance companies, and employers, resulting in more access to quality care .

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Doctoral Research On The Medicalization Of A Social Deviance

The theoretical concept of medicalization means the redefinition of a problem in medical language. For Peter Conrad , medicalization refers to the process through which non-medical problems become defined and treated as medical problems, generally in terms of illness or disorder. In Africa, where the whole population does not have access to treatments, the sociological approach of medicalization is not critically applied like in the Western world. In an African context marked by a generalized search for treatment, a number of social or environmental problems, which are medicalized in Northern countries, are not medicalized due to a lack of resources. Public health interventions rather seem to aim at extending the medicalization of practices, such as drug use, which have been for a long time reduced to a âsocial devianceâ.

The idea of deviance associated with drug use is linked to the conservative policy of Senegal, which utilizes repression and the expression of normative points of views based on religious interpretations in regards to drugs and users. In 1963 and again in 1972, Senegal adopted repressive laws on cannabis and on narcotic drugs . In 1997, Senegal developed a new instrument entitled the Drug Code , which represses simple use and trafficking. The repressive policy of Senegal reinforced the negative perception of drugs and users, which was already established by a religious tradition of Muslim and then Christian origin.

Tony Walter, in, 2015

I: Factors Contributing To Variation In The Menopausal Experience

Comprehensive reviews that cover research on the relationship between culture and menopause show without exception that the socio/cultural organization of the course of life in specific geographical locations profoundly affects the meanings and experience of menopause . Factors hypothesized to play a role in the experience of menopause include: culturally-influenced behaviours such as diet , smoking and exercise cultural attitudes towards and expectations about the menopause , which can be heavily influenced by medicalization meanings assigned to menopause, such as whether it is recognized as natural and normal, deviant, or as an illness previous symptomatology and prior health condition past or current reproductive health mother’s experience of menopause attitudes toward childrearing and women’s roles marital status relationships with husbands/partners and their attitudes toward symptoms of menopause social support and the extended family social status, socio-economic status , education , career and religious beliefs. For example, many women may not seek medical assistance because they believe that menopause, like puberty, involves natural changes that are part of development and ageing . With the support of healthy lifestyles, social support of friends and family, symptoms are often manageable and thus medical intervention may not be necessary .

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How Has Adhd Been Medicalized

The medicalization of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has migrated in recent years from the United States to other countries around the world, a troubling trend that has more to do with marketing than with medicine, according to a paper published this week in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

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    What Can Be Done

    Lifestyle factors

    A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. Many women feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their body. Here are some tips to consider:

    Complementary & alternative therapies

    These have become a popular choice and many women use them, although limited scientific research has been done to support their effect or indeed their safety. They may sometimes help with troublesome symptoms, but they are unlikely to have a significant impact on bone strength, the heart or blood vessels.

    Choosing a complementary or alternative therapy can be a challenge so many different ones exist. Acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal treatments, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, yoga and reflexology have all been reported as being helpful in the menopause.

    To find out more about available therapies, please consult the WHC fact sheet Complementary/alternative therapies for menopausal women.

    Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective and widely used treatment for menopausal symptoms. As its name suggests, it is simply a way of replacing the hormone oestrogen that is lost during the menopause.

    What Happens And How Does It Feel

    For some women this loss of reproductive ability may be deeply felt, and for all women the menopause is a personal experience, not just a medical condition. However, the diminishing release of oestrogen from the ovary as women advance into their 40s is often the cause of symptoms which can be distressing and may need medical attention.

    Hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopause, occurring in three in every four menopausal women. Other common symptoms include night sweats, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, irritated skin, more frequent urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, low mood and a reduced interest in sex. Symptoms vary hugely in duration, severity and what impact they have on women.

    All the common symptoms of the menopause are associated with a decrease in the bodys production of oestrogen. Oestrogen lack can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, causing changes in emotional well-being, and the skin, influencing its elasticity and thickness.

    There is also some evidence that oestrogen deficiency is the cause of some chemical changes in the body which make women after the menopause especially vulnerable to heart disease and stroke.

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    Women’s Experiences Of Menopause: Cultural Nuances

    In a systematic review of studies that mentioned menopausal onset and symptoms, researchers found that the median age for menopause in North America ranged between 50.5 to 51.4 years, with a similar range noted in Europe . In Latin America, the median age ranged from 43.8 to 53 years, and in Asia, the median range was 42.1 to 51.1 years . Menopausal symptoms varied tremendously across countries, geographic regions, and even across ethnic groups within the same region, with presumable influence from socioeconomic factors . Making definitive conclusions regarding what might attribute to these variations is challenging .

    In fact, there does not appear to be a single universal menopausal experience . A survey and comparison study noted that symptoms like hot flashes differed among women in different countries. United Kingdom women’s experiences with hot flashes were similar to women in the United States and Canada but different than experiences of women in China and Japan . While menopause is a biologic process marked by perhaps universal changes, the meanings of menopause informed by culture will shape the experience of the symptoms in different ways.

    Which Is An Example Of An Iatrogenic Illness

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    Iatrogenic events may lead to physical, mental, or emotional problems or, in some cases, even death. A few examples of iatrogenic events include: If you were to become infected because a healthcare provider didnt wash his or her hands after touching a previous patient, this would be considered an iatrogenic infection.

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    Menopause As A Positive Experience

    Some participants associated menopause with “cleanliness” because of not having a period. When talking about cleanliness, participants said that before menopause they were concerned that those around them might notice they had been menstruating. They also said that before menopause they had vaginal discharge more often.

    Menopause was also perceived as “comforting” as it removed the risk for pregnancy as well as the termination of menstrual symptoms. One participant was pleased that her menstrual migraine had disappeared along with the menstruation and, according to her none of the symptoms of menopause were comparable to that of migraine.

    “Cleanliness, not having menstruation every month, when I go out I don’t have to check out if my clothes are stained or not.”

    “I don’t have unpleasant discharges and those menstrual cramps. That is a good thing.”

    “I became more relaxed, as if I was being stressed about menses. At least I don’t have to be concerned about pregnancy.

    1- Menopause: change in health behaviour

    The participants in both groups were aware of a number of health problems related to menopause and indicated that they were following their routine health controls, such as mammography, osteodensitometry, pap-smear testing etcetera, much better than they had prior to menopause. They also shared their experiences with their peers.

    2- Maturity

    Some participants stated that they were more concerned about menopause and it was not as bad as they had thought it would be.


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