Any type of illness can be thought of or taken differently from person to person depending on a variety of different factors such as how old you are, where you live, your family and friends, and experience you’ve had with the illness. In the lecture video “learning about health through ethnography” it talks in the beginning about the doctor patient relationship. Doctors can not always give the same treatment plans for the same diseases to different patients. What works for one person may not be as successful for another person because of the different factors such as age, gender, where your from, etc. As described in the video, explanatory models vary from society to society. Explanatory models have to do with the way different people view and interpret a disease, illness, or issue. In the reading “Conflicting Explanatory Models in the Care of the Chronically Ill” it describes explanatory models as a cognitive map which i found helpful in understanding the term. In the study about “madness in Zanzibar”, the researcher discusses how the Islamic religion and Muslim culture can play a role in creating an explanatory model for schizophrenia. The belief in spirits can be a cause of madness in their lives and Muslims believe in active spirits as the Quran states they are real. When people feel these spirits are taking a toll on their thoughts it can create anger and violence according to the article. The families that were researched all found different outcomes based on their relationship with the diagnosed family member and how they treated and thought about the schizophrenia. Explanatory models are used to provide more effective care and treatment for patients. Explanatory models help for a person to understand an illness and if they have one, what their illness is and how to go about handling it, treatment, etc. With an explanatory model a person can discuss with their doctor treatment options and what will benefit them best economically. The patient learns how to communicate with their loved ones about their illness and in turn they can communicate and support the patient. In the example used in the first lecture video the explanatory model that people with Ebola in a foreign country formed was a negative one toward white American doctors. In a blog article, “The Patient Explanatory Model”, the researcher suggests instead of just asking about the symptoms and forming a diagnosis you should ask questions to learn how the patient sees his or her illness such as “what do you think caused your problem” or ” what do you think your sickness does to you” (Kandula). Explanatory models are beneficial to people to help them interpret their issues (the how and why) and make them feel more comfortable when dealing with them.
Kandula, Namratha. “The Patient Explanatory Model.” The Health Care Blog. June 11, 2013. Accessed July 13, 2016. http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2013/06/11/the-patient-explanatory-model/.