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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
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
Marygrace Berberian, Melissa S Walker, Girija Kaimal
This study involved a thematic analysis of montage paintings and of related clinical records of 240 active-duty military service members collected during their art therapy treatment for traumatic brain injury and underlying psychological health concerns, including post-traumatic stress, at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Congruent with other research findings, the qualitative analyses of this study suggest that the group art therapy experiences fostered improvement in interpersonal relatedness, hopefulness and gratification for the service members in treatment, aiding in externalisation, progressive exposure and construction of a trauma narrative imperative for recovery...
August 4, 2018: Medical Humanities
Catherine Stones
During the interwar years, health exhibitions and pavilions were commonplace in Europe and the USA. Within these exhibitions were a small number of life-sized or oversized mechanical men used to represent physiological processes. Although they received significant press attention at the time, little academic analysis exists to date. These mechanical men, I argue, all provide important insights regarding the way design could be used to heighten the appeal of physiology and crucially, in the formation of a new term-the Accessible Body...
July 24, 2018: Medical Humanities
Ricardo A Ayala
For over 20 years, the notion of 'management of care' has been foregrounded as key in the jurisdiction of the nursing profession, with the aim of detaching itself from the wider medical umbrella. A number of voices have advocated such centrality. These include juridical, academic and occupational perspectives. Critical stances, although peripheral, have also been voiced. These have been received, at best, with a 'polite silence' in mainstream circles.By looking at the arguments surrounding the 'management of care' circulated in these two decades, this article reports the various forms of discursive practice that participate in the political process of autonomy building...
July 16, 2018: Medical Humanities
Bliss Cavanagh, Kirsti Haracz, Miranda Lawry, Carole James
Self-management strategies have been identified as having a key role in supporting mental health and preventing mental illness. Evidence suggests that spending time in nature, experiencing or viewing artwork and accessing sensory rooms all support self-management and positive mental health among varied clinical populations. This evidence informed the design of the sensory-art space (SAS), an artistically designed multisensory environment, which drew on themes and images of nature.The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perceived benefits of the SAS among members of a university community...
July 16, 2018: Medical Humanities
Evan V Goldstein
Without question, the American medical craft-the physicians, clinicians and healthcare organisations that comprise the American healthcare sector-provides immense value to patients and contributes expertise on matters relevant to the public's health. However, several conspicuous realities about healthcare in America should give the reader pause. Most problematic are the comparative measures of access to care, quality of care, life expectancy, racial health disparity and cost, all of which demonstrate how many Americans experience relatively lower value public health than other Western liberal democratic states...
July 14, 2018: Medical Humanities
Yvette Koepke
As Frankenstein's 200th anniversary nears, its use as a shorthand for ethical critique only increases. This article argues, though, that its lessons inhere in its unique structure, which enacts an interpretive process that models the multiplicity and uncertainty constitutive of ethical decision-making. Frankenstein deliberately functions as a modern myth, rewriting classical and Christian mythology to challenge the straightforward moral lessons often ascribed to the text. Complex portrayals of the creature and of Victor Frankenstein in the context of contemporary science make it impossible to read Victor as villain, victim or hero, or to take a consequentialist or nature-based stance in which the outcome of his research dictates its wrongness...
July 10, 2018: Medical Humanities
Adam S Komorowski, Sang Ik Song
Written by Richard Wiseman, sergeant-surgeon to King Charles II of England, 'A Treatise on the King's-Evil' within his magnum opus Severall Chirurgicall Treatises (1676), acts as a proto-case series which explores the treatment and cure of 91 patients with the King's-Evil. Working within the confines of the English monarch's ability to cure the disease with their miraculous (or thaumaturgic) touch, Wiseman simultaneously elevates and extends the potential to heal to biomedicine. Wiseman's work on the King's-Evil provides an interesting window through which the political expediency of the monarch's thaumaturgic touch may be explored...
July 3, 2018: Medical Humanities
Victoria Jane Palmer, Wayne Weavell, Rosemary Callander, Donella Piper, Lauralie Richard, Lynne Maher, Hilary Boyd, Helen Herrman, John Furler, Jane Gunn, Rick Iedema, Glenn Robert
Healthcare systems redesign and service improvement approaches are adopting participatory tools, techniques and mindsets. Participatory methods increasingly used in healthcare improvement coalesce around the concept of coproduction, and related practices of cocreation, codesign and coinnovation. These participatory methods have become the new Zeitgeist-the spirit of our times in quality improvement. The rationale for this new spirit of participation relates to voice and engagement (those with lived experience should be engaged in processes of development, redesign and improvements), empowerment (engagement in codesign and coproduction has positive individual and societal benefits) and advancement (quality of life and other health outcomes and experiences of services for everyone involved should improve as a result)...
June 28, 2018: Medical Humanities
Iara Meili, Eva Heim, Andreas Maercker
The metaphorical concepts resilience and post-traumatic growth (PTG) reflect the contemporary Western understanding of overcoming highly challenging life events. However, it is known that across different cultures, a broad range of metaphorical idioms for describing adaptive responses to severe adversity exists. This study aimed to explore and contrast two distinct cultural groups' culturally shared metaphors for overcoming severe adversities. Fieldwork was conducted in two rural communities: an indigenous Brazilian community that has experienced severe collective adversity and a mountain village in Switzerland that has survived a natural disaster...
June 28, 2018: Medical Humanities
Lindsay-Ann Coyle, Sarah Atkinson
The paper contributes to contemporary understandings of vulnerability by expanding their scope with an understanding of vulnerability as generated through institutionalised practices. The argument draws on experiential accounts of navigating the practices of diagnosis by people living with multiple conditions of ill-health and disability. Vulnerability as a concept is used widely across different domains and conveys a multitude of meanings. Contemporary biomedicine, and its associated health systems and services, understands vulnerability mostly as inherent to particular physical and mental bodily conditions that put people at risk of ill-health or emotionally fragility...
June 27, 2018: Medical Humanities
Iliya Gutin
Biomedical research has a long and complicated history as a tool of oppression, exemplary of the racial science used to legitimise and maintain racial hierarchies in the USA and abroad. While the explicit racism and racial inferiority supported by this research has dissipated and modern methods of inquiry have increased in sophistication and rigor, contemporary biomedical research continues to essentialise race by distilling racial differences and disparities in health to an underlying, biogenetic source. Focusing on the persistence of essentialism in an era of genomic medicine, this paper examines the deep social origins and social implications of the essentialist viewpoint in biomedicine and how it relates to the broader construction of social and scientific knowledge...
June 25, 2018: Medical Humanities
Lisa J Mullen
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), George Orwell's political satire on state surveillance and mind control, was written between 1946 and 1948, at a time when new thinking in forensic psychiatry coincided with scientific breakthroughs in neurology to bring questions of criminality, psychotherapy and mental health to the forefront of the popular imagination. This paper examines how Nineteen Eighty-Four inverts psychiatric paradigms in order to diagnose what Orwell sees as the madness of totalitarian regimes. It then goes on to place the novel's dystopian vision of total surveillance and mind control in the context of the neurological research and brain scanning techniques of the mid-20th century...
June 25, 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
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