Throughout this week, we have been able to learn about explanatory models and how they are different in unique situations. Even though every situation was unique to itself, they all had one thing in common: the person’s explanatory model determined everything. There is a direct correlation from the patient’s explanatory model to the type of treatment they pursue, how they live, and how they view their diagnosis entirely.
In the excerpt from Arthur Kleinman’s “Conflicting Explanatory Models in the Care of the Chronically Ill”, he incomparably illustrated how the explanatory model of the patient conflicted with that of the caregiver. In Mrs. Lawler’s case, she knew that her doctor wasn’t treating her emotional needs. Because of how she viewed her illness, she took herself to a different doctors office. On the other hand, her doctor did not attend to her emotions and family ongoings because his explanatory model only involves the disease, or the biological and chemical factors inside of the body. Mrs. Lawler was right to seek out a doctor that would fit her explanatory model of her illness. As the familydoctor.org stated, “ask someone outside the situation, such as your family doctor… for advice and support to help you improve your emotional health”. Emotional health is as much a part of your illness as anything else.
Also, McGruder was able to capture how a patient’s explanatory model directly influences their choice in how they live their life and the treatment they pursue in “Madness in Zanzibar: An Exploration of Lived Experience”. A majority of the people in Zanzibar are Muslim. Due to their beliefs and way of life, they have a different outlook on a lot of things. I was surprised when they kept their emotions level. From where we live, it is hard to imagine that, because when someone is ill their emotions often are not the first thing we think of. Being from the West, we automatically think of the physical detriments first. When Kimwana was suffering from her illness, the only one who had trouble with their emotions was her grandmother. Everyone else had the same belief that the emotions were troubling Kimwana and setting her off. Because of their belief of Kimwana’s illness, they chose their actions according to that. Her grandmother, however, had trouble understanding that this was an illness. Due to that fact, her mother frequently was caught giving an attitude or having slight disagreements with Kimwana. I think that this particular example in Zanzibar shows that even though they have different views, their beliefs still directly impact their choice in care of the patient.
Jonathan Metzl was able to discuss the view of the doctors I believe. It showed their explanatory model for the disease. To paraphrase, he mentioned that on days when he worked in the clinical area, he would mention that he would describe the disease in a definition sort of way. Because of that, it showed what kind of treatment they were giving. It was a very clincal, or lab, setting. I think that influenced how they viewed the patients as a whole.
No matter who is involved, everyone’s explanatory model directly influences how they treat, live, and view their diagnosis or illness. I think that being able to see how a patient views their illness is just as important as seeing how the family and caregiver’s view the illness. Going into a medical field, I want to be able to bring that emotional and social aspect to the table. I want to be able to help patients with whatever is ailing them, not just the symptoms at hand. My explanatory model for anything is to keep an open mind and not think it is caused by just one thing. Therefore, I will treat the patients with as much care, patience, and listening as they require. I will do that because it correlates directly with what my explanatory model says.
You know your body better than any doctor ever will; make sure that you trust that and seek help however you see fit.
FamilyDoctor.org. “Mind/Body Connection: How Your Emotions Affect Your Health.” Last Modified May, 2016. Accessed July 15, 2016. familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/emotional-wellbeing/metnal-health/mind-body-connection-how-your-emotions-affect-your-health.html
McGruder, Juli H. “Madness in Zanzibar: An Exploration of Lived Experience”. Accessed July 15, 2016. http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp370-us16.files.2015.05/2.1-McGruder.pdf
Metzl,Jonathan. “Book TV: Jonathan Metzl, ‘The Protest Psychosis'”. Youtube. 2010. Accessed July 15, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEpvqQcwmfE.