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Am J Psychiatry. 1978 Apr;135(4):427-31.

Clinical relevance of anthropological and cross-cultural research: concepts and strategies.


The author presents a method through which findings from anthropological and cross-cultural research can be applied to problems affecting patient care. The clinical social science approach emphasizes the distinction between disease and illness and cultural influences on the ways "clinical reality" is conflictingly construed in the ethnomedical models of patients and the biomedical models of practitioners. The relevance of such research extends beyond special clinical concerns arising from ethnic differences to ubiquitous problems that result from cultural influences on all aspects of health care. Consultation-liaison psychiatry is a particularly appropriate vehicle for introducing clinical social science into medical and psychiatric teaching and practice.

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