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I'm not ill, it's just this back: osteopathic treatment, responsibility and back problems.

Lee-Treweek, Geraldine (2001) I'm not ill, it's just this back: osteopathic treatment, responsibility and back problems. Health: an interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine, 5 (1). 31-49.. ISSN 1363-4593

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Abstract

Personal responsibility has become a central focus for British health policy, professional ideologies and lay ideas around health. This article focuses upon the issue of personal responsibility and long-standing back problems. It uses material from interviews with osteopathic patients to illustrate the ways that patients’ ideas about responsibility for and control over their symptoms are often moulded by their interactions with health care practitioners. Such interactions often lead to contradictions in patients’ attitudes to their health: passive acceptance of treatment on the one hand and desperate attempts to re-establish some control through self-blame on the other (Taussig, 1992). The article ends by arguing that the osteopathic profession needs to critically evaluate its role in encouraging such contradiction and confusion in patients’ understandings of their health states.

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