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FOCPAlexandra Burke-Smith1. Introduction to Medical SociologyDr Fiona McGowan (f.mcgowan@imperial.ac.uk) the difference between illness, sickness and diseaseExplore definitions of healthOutline different theoretical perspectivesSummarise the changing medical and social contextLecture Notes Disease: the medical conception of a pathological abnormality diagnosed by means of signs and symptoms Illness: the subjective interpretation of problems that are perceived as health-related, i.e. the experience ofsymptoms Sickness: the social organisation and performance of illness/disease, i.e. the sick-rolePeople feel ill (illness) seek medical advice from doctor diagnosis (disease) treatment legitimises illness and role of patient (sickness/sick-role)One can be ill/suffer from disease without adopting the sick roleIllness/disease involves suffering, but does not require complaintDisease may exist without subjectively experienced symptoms, e.g. cancer in remissionHealthDefinitions State of harmony with nature and the environment Absence of disease (medical definition) Complete state of well-being Functional adequacyHumoral Theory Galen; Four natural elements relating to four humors of the body- Water (Phlegm)- Air (Blood)- Fire (Yellow bile)- Earth (Black bile) A unity of the 4 elements links the person (microcosm) to the world (macrocosm) i.e balance of theindiv

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