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Whether it's a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis or a simple headache, everyone has ideas abour their health. This programme explores some of these ideas, specifically from the viewpoint of... people with no formal medical training. Gareth Williams from the university of Salford has been making a detailed study of people's beliefs about chronic illness. His interviews with people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have shown that patients and doctors may have very different ideas about what caused the disease and different approaches to making sense of the illness within the context of a person's life. This can have serious consequences for their ability to communicate with each other. A classic study of people's beliefs about health and illness was carried out in the early 1980s by Jocelyn Comwell amongst a group of families in the East End of London. By interviewing these families several times over a number of years, she was able to build up a picture of their health in relation to the rest of their lives - their living conditions as well as their work, their social and family lives. Small-scale and community studies can generate a wealth of information about people's health beliefs - but to what extent do they reflect more general trends within the population? The interplay between the general and the specific is discussed by Mildred Blaxter, who was part of a multidisciplinary team that conducted a nationwide study into health and lifestyle in the 1980s. This large-scale study has begun to reveal the way in which beliefs about health and illness can vary with different sections of the population, depending on age, sex and social class.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: U205, Health and disease
Item code: U205; 01; 1992
Published: 1992
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:12
Note: Also is Showcase SHOW093/02
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Producer: Rissa de la Paz
Contributors: Susan Rae; Gareth Williams
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Doctor/patient communication; Health; Illness; Rheumatoid arthritis
Subject terms: Alternative medicine; Health; Physician and patient
Footage description: Footage - Looking up at Lynn in chair with hand on arm of chair. Bandaged foot. Lynn descending stairs in stair-lift. Bowl of fruit panning to plastic box containing bottles of tablets and cup and saucer. Lynn taking tablets. Cup placed on saucer panning to box containing bottle of tablets (0'29"-2'01"). Gareth Williams walking through hospital waiting room. Gareth with consultant rheumatologist. Patient notes. Leaflets in display rack panning to patients in waiting room. Gareth and male rheumatoid sufferer. Graphic animation. Tape recorder and microphone. Gareth speaking to Lynn at her home. Page of text. Gareth and Lynn. Hand operating cassette player. Gareth's face. Pages being turned; panning to books on desk. Graphic animation. Gareth speaking. Gareth and Lynn. Tape turning in cassette player. Lynn and Gareth. Gareth speaking (2'02"-8'28"). Rheumatologist examining patient. Gareth. Jocelyn Cornwell emerges from Queen Mary and Westfield college. Jocelyn driving and view through windscreen. Exterior of Bethnal Green hospital. Jocelyn gets out of car and walks to door which is opened by Iris Sansom. Album is opened to show still of Dot and Stan (Iris's parents). Graphic display of family tree. Coal fire panning to Jocelyn and Iris speaking in Iris's home. Jocelyn. Sign 'Columbia primary school', panning to Jocelyn and Iris walking past a mosaic wall. Wendy and Iris walking along street (8'29"-14'05"). Wendy and Jocelyn speaking. Tape machine. View of transcripts. Jocelyn looking at transcripts. Jocelyn. Family photos. Jocelyn looking at transcripts. View of book "Hard-earned lives". Three books: "Despite the welfare state", "The meaning of disability", "Mothers and daughters". Panning to Mildred Blaxter reading papers. Mildred at her desk. Female, Brian Cox and Mildred Blaxter looking at map. Cupboard opened, file extracted and opened. Views of questionnaire papers. Mildred looking at questionnaires. Close-up of mouths. Mildred looking at questionnaires (14'06"-20'37"). Mildred speaking. PC screen displaying data, fingers on keyboard. View of printer. Questionnaire papers. Male and female looking at papers. Mildred, Iris and Wendy walking around Bethnal Green (20'38"-23'24").
Master spool number: HOU7097
Production number: FOUS640Y
Videofinder number: 4846
Available to public: no