The Sick Role Theory

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The Sick Role Theory

The sick role (social role of the patient) is a disease model explained by Parsons. Illness is really a role and not just a state, makes Parsons firmly believe that the affected individual is confronted with institutionalized expectations, where the doctor acts as a legitimizing instance.

Here are four aspects to the fore, according to Parsons:

First the legitimate exemption from normal role obligations.

Second the exemption from liability for the disease state.

Third the desire to become healthy again.

Fourth the willingness to consult with an experienced specialist and co-operate with him to fight the disease. This point exposes the role of the patient and the physician to a complementary role structure.

The role of the patient is "contingent" because everyone, regardless of his social status, they can fall into. She is a universalist role as objective criteria to decide on the type and severity of the disease. However, limited to certain complaints and functional disabilities in health, it turns out to be functionally specific. It is the pursuit of health focused on an objective problem, which makes the role of emotions in spite of often existing in their behavior patterns emotionally neutral. The patient initially has a high intrinsic interest in becoming healthy. When he consults the doctor, however, its role is because he agrees to cooperate with the doctor and do his utmost to defeat the disease together.

Before understand the Social Role theory, it is important to understand the need of a patient and how it arises. When a person realizes that their own body cannot cope with the disease, he recognizes the need for treatment. At the same time he tries to analyze what caused the illness, and remember, if he has the experience out of this situation. If the "archive" their own knowledge, he finds nothing, it is necessary to consult. He gathers the necessary information in the directory, online, with friends, a therapist (which happens often) or a specialist, including a doctor, to find out the solution of the problem.

Conscious healing process is a professional too, when in an advisory capacity, experts or group of experts serve him with professional knowledge, skills and experience that have a complex of modern methods of laboratory and diagnostic tool. In all other cases, the treatment would be unprofessional (although sometimes he can be successful), but since there is no statistically significant confirmation of the effectiveness of these treatments, so no one can guarantee a high probability of a positive outcome of such treatment (Vries, pp. 273-82).

One of the main goals of the treatment process is to determine as accurately as possible the diagnosis of disease, stage of disease, the causes and the patient's ability to overcome it. Another purpose is to choose from at the disposal of medical schemes (algorithms) that the treatment of the patient will bring maximum benefits and avoid negative impacts including the use of drugs .

Treatment process consists of several sequentially occurring phases: patient examination, diagnosis, the choice ...
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