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June 12, 1937

The Social Component in Medical Care: A Study of One Hundred Cases from the Presbyterian Hospital in the City of New York

JAMA. 1937;108(24):2068. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780240060030

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Abstract

One hundred patients of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York were studied in detail by physicians and social workers. The purpose was "to discover and describe the social disorders of a certain number of patients and to determine whether the patients' reactions to such disorders were unfavorable to health." The cases are divided into acute, recurrent and chronic. The adverse social factors associated with individual problems of ill health include subsistence, economic protection and faulty personal habits. Measures were undertaken to remedy these unfavorable social factors through control of the environment, supplying deficiencies in evironment, helping the patient to utilize available resources, removing obstacles to care, and moving the patient to a more favorable environment. To influence conduct, dependence was placed on explanations, elucidations and demonstrations. An effort was also made to foster more healthful habits. Such treatment required extensive personal attention to each patient. Because only a small percentage

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