Health Policy Approaches To Population Health: The Limits Of Medicalization

School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.97). 09/2007; 26(5):1253-7. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.26.5.1253
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Because of a strong tendency to "medicalize" health status problems and to assume that their primary solution involves medical care, policymakers often focus on increased financial and geographic access to personal health services in policies aimed at populations that are vulnerable to poor health. This approach has produced real public health gains, but it has neglected key social and economic causes of health vulnerability and disparities. Although access to care is a necessary component of population health, concerted policy action in income security, education, housing, nutrition/food security, and the environment is also critical in efforts to improve health among socially disadvantaged populations.

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    • "Over the past 50 years, medical explanations have become increasingly dominant in discourses on health, illness and other human problems and behavior. The medical model of health and illness tends to marginalize social origins of disease (Waitzkin and Britt, 1989) and ''define[s] health problems as the result of individual failures of biology, hygiene, and behavior, with the implicit or explicit belief that the primary strategy for addressing these problems is through biomedical treatments delivered to individuals by physicians and other providers'' (Lantz et al., 2007: 1254). As this perspective won legitimacy, it fueled the growth of three major components of the health care system: investment in medical infrastructure; the size and specialization of the medical workforce; and the pharmaceutical industry. "
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    Social Science Research 01/2015; 52. DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.01.006 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Therefore, the client’s mental health would be ignored. Health related literature has identified this challenge as “medicalization”.[4344] "
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    Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research 02/2012; 17(2 Suppl 1):S171-7.
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