Children, Medicines, and Culture

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Patricia Bush, Deanna J. Trakas, Emilio J. Sanz
Taylor & Francis, Feb 25, 1997 - Medical - 420 pages
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Children, Medicines, and Culture is a multicultural, multidisciplinary look at how children in nine European countries and the United States are socialized into medicine use. The team of authors, comprised of social and medical scientists, takes a sociocultural approach to understand why the use of medicines varies among western countries. Their premise is that beliefs, expectations, and behaviors about medicines are learned in childhood and are influenced by families and the wider culture. The authors interviewed children and their families and here discuss children's knowledge of medicines, their autonomy in medicine use, the attitudes of children and their parents about medicines, children as decisionmakers, medicines kept at home, treatment of childhood fever, and alternative therapies.

The chapters in Children, Medicines, and Culture represent individual country reports and cross-national comparisons as the authors seek to understand how children are socialized into medicine use in the countries of Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, the former Yugoslavia, and the United States. For scholars in anthropology, social pharmacy, social sciences, community health educators, pediatricians, and medial staff, this unique exploration of children and medications supplies:
  • cross-national comparisons of household medicines
  • cross-national comparisons of the treatment of childhood fever from the child's and parent's perspective
  • cross-national comparisons of children's views of the role and benefits of medicines in health and illness
  • children's views of health and illness relative to causation, treatment, prevention, decisionmaking, and attitudes
  • children's knowledge of medicines relative to source, efficacy, mechanism of action, dosage, and characteristics
  • advantages and disadvantages to qualitative and quantitative methods and triangulation in crosscultural research
For health policymakers, educators, and professionals, Children, Medicines, and Culture provides information on which to base and plan health information for children and families. For methodologists, it may be the first time when such a diverse group of scientists has worked together to obtain information in different countries. For others, Children, Medicines, and Culture is an entertaining look at how children and families deal with childhood illnesses in different countries, what kind of medicines families in different countries keep at home, and how children and their parents in different countries view the benefit of medicines and doctors in general.

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