The Signifance of the Family in Medication

Pratt, Lois
March 1973
Journal of Comparative Family Studies;Spring73, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p13
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the family's involvement in medication activity. In the case of medication, there is not only a tendency to regard this aspect of heath care as the exclusive province of professional medicine, but in addition, to view family self-medication attempts as a form of deviant behavior. Illness or imperfections of health are a common and almost ongoing feature of family life. The extent of illness is usually calculated in terms of the risk for the individual person. A cross-national investigation found that a somewhat larger proportion of U.S. than of Great Britain adults had taken medication in the previous 24 hours: 48 versus 38 percent for prescription drugs and 18 versus 15 percent for nonprescription drugs. An important aspect of the circumstances of home medication is whether the health condition that is being medicated is also being cared for by a professional or whether the health problem is being handled exclusively by family members themselves. There is evidence suggesting that a significant amount of home medication is supplementary to professional treatment. It was found that 80 percent of a sample of physicians' patients practiced self-medication.


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