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May 7, 1960

Sociological Studies of Health and Sickness: A Source Book for the Health Professions

JAMA. 1960;173(1):120. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020190122034

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This book is described as a source book for the health professions. The studies in this volume were carried out by sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists, partly in collaboration with physicians. The recognition of need for health care seems related to socioeconomic level for symptoms such as continued coughing or swelling of the ankles. More people from higher social levels said that the condition warranted seeing a physician. In poliomyelitis vaccine trials a markedly greater proportion of mothers from the lowest socioeconomic level refused permission for their child to be vaccinated. In such primitive settings as the Mestizo communities of coastal Peru and Chile, scientific medicine was not replacing folk medicine but was supplementing it.

There is an interesting chapter on health needs and opinions of older adults in a low socioeconomic district of Boston. The chapter on the psychological meaning of mental illness in a family is important as it

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