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Medical Humanities

Alison Swartz, Susan Levine, Hanna-Andrea Rother, Fritha Langerman
This article focuses on the devastating hidden perils of agricultural pesticides repurposed by informal sellers in urban South African townships to kill rats and other unwanted pests. Drawing on collaborative research techniques, we investigate the causal relationship between child poisoning episodes and the household use of illegal street pesticides. Such pesticides are used to safeguard homes from pests in an attempt to protect children from the harmful consequences of rodent bites and vectorborne diseases...
October 20, 2018: Medical Humanities
Giovanni Biglino, Sofie Layton, Matthew Lee, Froso Sophocleous, Susannah Hall, Jo Wray
The arts can aid the exploration of individual and collective illness narratives, with empowering effects on both patients and caregivers. The artist, partly acting as conduit, can translate and re-present illness experiences into artwork. But how are these translated experiences received by the viewer-and specifically, how does an audience respond to an art installation themed around paediatric heart transplantation and congenital heart disease? The installation, created by British artist Sofie Layton and titled Making the Invisible Visible , was presented at an arts-and-health event...
October 18, 2018: Medical Humanities
Lauren MacIvor Thompson
The medical intervention of 'twilight sleep', or the use of a scopolamine-morphine mixture to anaesthetise labouring women, caused a furore among doctors and early 20th-century feminists. Suffragists and women's rights advocates led the Twilight Sleep Association in a quest to encourage doctors and their female patients to widely embrace the practice. Activists felt the method revolutionised the notoriously dangerous and painful childbirth process for women, touting its benefits as the key to allowing women to control their birth experience at a time when the maternal mortality rate remained high despite medical advances in obstetrics...
September 28, 2018: Medical Humanities
Trisha Parsons, Deborah Tregunno, Mala Joneja, Nancy Dalgarno, Leslie Flynn
Our modern-day frenetic healthcare culture has progressed to a state where healthcare professionals tend to detach themselves from the emotions of their patients/clients, rather than embed compassion into their daily practice. The AMS Phoenix Project: A Call to Caring was implemented with the goal to instil and sustain empathy and compassion in environments where clinicians learn and work. The purpose of this study is to report on how an interprofessional community of practice (CoP) of healthcare educators can contribute to a cultural shift in promoting and delivering compassion in healthcare through health professionals education...
September 26, 2018: Medical Humanities
Saam Idelji-Tehrani, Muna Al-Jawad
The existing literature on leadership often describes it within fairly rigid gender roles. Entire models of leadership have been ascribed gendered labels. Shared leadership is, in traditional leadership theory, a feminine model. After observing a National Health Service (NHS) department enacting a shared leadership model, and using ethnography, grounded theory and comics-based research, we decided to explore the relationship between shared leadership and gender stereotypes. We realised our hope was to see a subversion of traditional stereotypes...
September 22, 2018: Medical Humanities
Richard Gibson
The following paper examines the cyberpunk transhumanist graphic novel Transmetropolitan through the theoretical lens of disability studies to demonstrate how science fiction, and in particular this series, illustrate and can influence how we think about disability, impairment and difference. While Transmetropolitan is most often read as a scathing political and social satire about abuse of power and the danger of political apathy, the comic series also provides readers with representations of impairment and the source of disability as understood by the Social Model of Disability (SMD)...
September 18, 2018: Medical Humanities
Guri Aarseth, Bård Natvig, Eivind Engebretsen, Anne Kveim Lie
When the patient applies for disability benefit in Norway, the general practitioner (GP) is required by the National Insurance Administration (NAV) to confirm that the patient is unfit for work due to disease. Considering the important social role of medical certificates, they have been given surprisingly little attention by the medical critique. They may make essential differences to peoples' lives, legitimise large social costs and, in addition, the GPs report that issuing certificates can be problematic...
September 18, 2018: Medical Humanities
Mathias Wirth
One leitmotif that medical humanities shares with phenomenology and most contemporary medical ethics is emphasising the importance of appreciating the patient as a whole person and not merely as an object. With this also comes a focus on marginalisation and invisibility. However, it is not entirely clear what exactly patient-centred care means. What both phenomenology and medical humanities contribute to a 'more humane health-care encounter' (Goldenberg 2010, p 44) is offering not only a first-person perspective, but a dialogue between the third-person perspective and evidence-based medicine...
September 11, 2018: Medical Humanities
Jennifer Sanchez-Davies
Literature can offer a wealth of information about epilepsy: from complex narratives to children's picture books, it can help broaden people's understanding, show what it is like to live with epilepsy and provide a medium to which people with epilepsy (PWE) can relate. The latter being particularly important in such cases where seizure experiences are highly subjective, such as those associated with 'focal seizures', a common seizure type, which are known for their variable and hard-to-describe symptoms, causing complications with diagnosis as many of the symptoms overlap with those of other psychological health conditions...
September 3, 2018: Medical Humanities
Brandy Schillace
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Jay Baruch, Stacey Springs
The opioid crisis poses challenges to patients who come to the emergency department (ED) in pain and the clinicians who have a duty to offer relief. In search of help, patients often find suspicion. But clinicians have reasons to be concerned about feeding addiction and its lethal consequences. This article discusses the narrative challenges facing many clinicians in the ED tasked with caring for complex patients in pain. It will discuss the many ways our brains are influenced by story, and how this susceptibility is often beyond our grasp...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Emily T Troscianko
Compared with self-help bibliotherapy, little is known about the efficacy of creative bibliotherapy or the mechanisms of its possible efficacy for eating disorders or any other mental health condition. It is clear, however, that fiction is widely used informally as a therapeutic or antitherapeutic tool and that it has considerable potential in both directions, with a possibly significant distinction between the effects of reading fiction about eating disorders (which may-contrary to theoretical predictions-be broadly negative in effect) or one's preferred genre of other fiction (which may be broadly positive)...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Lucas Richert, Matthew DeCloedt
Much discussion about mental health has revolved around treatment models. As interdisciplinary scholarship has shown, mental health knowledge, far from being a neutral product detached from the society that generated it, was shaped by politics, economics and culture. By drawing on case studies of yoga, religion and fitness, this article will examine the ways in which mental health practices-sometimes scientific, sometimes spiritual-have been conceived, debated and applied by researchers and the public. More specifically, it will interrogate the relationship between yoga, psychedelics, South Asian and Eastern religion (as understood and practiced in the USA) and mental health...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Jennifer Jane Hardes
The positive relationship between exercise and mental health is often taken for granted in today's society, despite the lack of academic literature evidencing this symbiosis. Gender is considered a significant determinant in a number of mental health diagnoses. Indeed, women are considered twice as likely as men to experience the most pervasive mental health condition, depression. Exercise for women's mental health is promoted through various macrolevel charity, as well as microlevel, campaigns that influence government healthcare policy and National Health Service guidelines...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Rutherford, Emer Forde, Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez, Aurelia Butcher, Clare Wedderburn
The capacity and the commitment to reflect are integral to the practice of medicine and are core components of most general practitioners (GP) training programmes. Teaching through the humanities is a growing area within medical education, but one which is often considered a voluntary 'add-on' for the interested doctor. This article describes an evaluation of a highly innovative pedagogical project which used photography as a means to enhance GP trainees' reflective capacity, self-awareness and professional development...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Suze G Berkhout
First-episode psychosis has garnered significant attention and resources within mental health services in North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand since the 1990s. Despite this widespread embrace, little scholarship exists that examines underlying concepts, ideologies and imagery embedded within the early intervention paradigm. In this paper, I offer a sociohistorical analysis of the emergence of first-episode psychosis and early intervention as entities in psychiatry, drawing on contemporary philosophical thought to explore various concepts embedded in them...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Harriet Palfreyman, Roger L Kneebone
This article examines the fortunes of one particular surgical innovation in the treatment of gallstones in the late 20th century; the percutaneous cholecystolithotomy (PCCL). This was an experimental procedure which was trialled and developed in the early days of minimally invasive surgery and one which fairly rapidly fell out of favour. Using diverse research methods from textual analysis to oral history to re-enactment, the authors explore the rise and fall of the PCCL demonstrating that such apparent failures are as crucial a part of innovation histories as the triumphs and have much light to shed on the development of surgery more generally...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Rebecca McLaughlan, Alan Pert
As the dominant research paradigm within the construction of contemporary healthcare facilities, evidence-based design (EBD) will increasingly impact our expectations of what hospital architecture should be. Research methods within EBD focus on prototyping incremental advances and evaluating what has already been built. Yet medical care is a rapidly evolving system; changes to technology, workforce composition, patient demographics and funding models can create rapid and unpredictable changes to medical practice and modes of care...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Tom Shakespeare, Alice Whieldon
This paper reports on a qualitative evaluation of a Norfolk-based network of community singing workshops aimed at people with mental health conditions and the general public. The aims of the study were (a) to evaluate the effectiveness of the Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO) project and (b) to identify the key features which made the project distinctive. The study draws on 20 interviews with participants, two focus groups with organisers and workshop leaders, and participative observation over a 6-month period. Interviewees all reported improvement in or maintenance of their mental health and well-being as a direct result of engagement in the singing workshops...
September 2018: Medical Humanities
Natalie Goodison, Deborah J G Mackay, I Karen Temple
The medieval English romance The King of Tars gives an account of a birth of a lump of flesh. This has been considered as fantastic and monstrous in past literature, the horrific union of a Christian and Saracen. However, while the text certainly speaks to miscegenation, we propose that this lump of flesh is actually a hydatidiform mole. We trace the hydatidiform mole from antiquity, surrounding it with contextual medieval examples, from theology, history and medicine, that also describe abnormal births as 'lumps of flesh'...
August 7, 2018: Medical Humanities
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