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Chapter 2 – Physical and Mental Health and Health Care

by: Jazlin Perez

Chapter 2 – Physical and Mental Health and Health Care ASOC180

Marketplace > SUNY Albany > Sociology > ASOC180 > Chapter 2 Physical and Mental Health and Health Care
Jazlin Perez


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Chapter 2 – Physical and Mental Health and Health Care Pages 27 - 41 Book: Understanding Social Problems, 10th Edition Authors: Linda A. Mooney, Ph.D.; David Knox, Ph.D.; Caroline Schacht, M.A.
Social Problems
Shanza Malik
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jazlin Perez on Sunday October 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASOC180 at SUNY Albany taught by Shanza Malik in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Social Problems in Sociology at SUNY Albany.


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Date Created: 10/16/16
Chapter 2 – Physical and Mental Health and Health Care: ( PAGES 27-41 )  Poverty underlying social condition contributed to 2014 Ebola outbreak – West Africa o 2014 Ebola – virus spread through contact w/ infected bodily fluids/surfaces contaminated w/ such fluids  Health problems not individual problems – social problems have social causes & social outcomes  Social conditions responsible (Ebola): o Poverty o Inequality o Inadequate provision of healthcare  Social outcomes (Ebola): o Skyrocketing prices of consumer goods/services o School closing o Mental disorder – (loss, fear, anxiety, stress)  Sociological approach –physical & mental health issues The Global Context: Health and Illness around the World  Social scientist classify countries – level of economic development 1) Developed countries – high income countries: relatively high gross national income per capita 2) Less Developed/Developing Countries – middle income countries: relatively low gross national income per capita 3) Least Developed Countries – low income countries: poorest countries in the world o Life expectancy – the average age number of years that individuals born in a given year can expect to live (greater in high-income countries than low- income countries) o Infant Mortality – the number of deaths of live born infants under the age of 1 year of age  Rates of infant mortality/under-5 morality – provide powerful indicators of health of population o Under-5 mortality rates range from an average of 153 in least developed nations to an average of 6 in industrialized countries.  Women ages 15-49 developing countries -- maternal mortality: severe loss of blood (hemorrhage), infections, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion  leading cause of death o MM Rates – a measure of deaths that result from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth  Leading cause of mortality worldwide is heart disease, followed by stroke and respiratory infections: 1) Respiratory infections 2) Diarrheal disease 3) HIV/AIDS o Globalization – the growing economic, political, and social interconnectedness among societies throughout the world  (+) – Globalization: communications tech. helpful in monitoring & reporting outbreaks of disease, disseminating guidelines for controlling and treating disease, and sharing medical knowledge and research findings  (-) – Globalization: global trade/agreements impact health  Global trade agreements expanded range of goods available to consumers – cost to global health o Globesity – the high prevalence of obesity around the world o Medical Tourism – a global industry that involves traveling, primarily across international borders, for the purpose of obtaining medical care 1) Obtain medical treatment not available in home country 2) Avoid waiting periods for treatment 3) Save $ - cost of medical treatment Mental Illness: The Hidden Epidemic o Mental health – successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with adversity o Mental Illness – collectively to all mental disorders which are characterized by sustained patterns of abnormal thinking, mood, or behaviors that are accompanied by significant distress and/or impairment in daily functioning  Of 17 nations: U.S. – highest rate of mental illness  Untreated mental illness lead to: poor educational achievement, lost productivity, unsuccessful relationships, significant distress, violence & abuse, incarceration, unemployed, homelessness & poverty th rd  Suicide – 10 leading cause of death & 3 leading cause of death (ages 15-24)  14% college students diagnosed/treated for anxiety | 12% depression | 6% panic attacks Sociological Theories of Illness and Health Care  Three major sociological theories contribute to understanding of illness & health care: 1) Structural functionalism 2) Conflict theory 3) Symbolic interactionism 2  Health care social institution functions to maintain well-being of societal members & social system as a whole (perspective points in failure in health care system affect individuals & social institutions)  Structural-functionalist perspective examines changes in society affect health  Structural-functionalist perspective draws attention to latent dysfunctions o Latent dysfunction - unintended & often unrecognized (-) consequences/effect of social patterns/behavior on society  Conflict perspective – socioeconomic status, power, profit motive: influences illness & healthcare  Socioeconomic status affects access to quality healthcare influences living & working conditions affect health  Criticizes the pharmaceutical and health care industry for placing profits above the people  Symbolic Internationalist Perspective focuses on: 1) Meanings, def., labels influence heathy, illness & health care 2) Meanings are learned via interaction w/ others & via media messages and portrayals  Symbolic interactionism – conceptions of health & illness socially constructed (varies over time & from society to society) o Medicalization – defining or labeling behaviors and conditions as medical problems  Ex: PTDS, Stress disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder  Symbolic interactionism draws attention to effects meanings & labels have on health and health risk behaviors | stigmatization of ppl – poor health/lack health insurance  Symbolic interactionists focus on stigmas assoc. w/ certain heath conditions  Mental illness  Drug addiction  Physical deformities  Impairments  Missing/decayed teeth  HIV infections / AIDS Social Factors and Lifestyle Behaviors Associated w/ Health and Illness  1/3 college students obese / overweight o Socioeconomic status – a person’s position in society based on the level of educational attainment, occupation, and income of that person or that person’s household  Socioeconomic status influences health 3  Low socioeconomic associated w/ higher incidence & prevalence of heath problems & lower life expectancy  Men more access to social power, privileges, resources, & opportunities  Lifestyle behaviors often influenced by social factors  Low levels of education are linked to greater health risk behaviors U.S. Health Care: An Overview  Health care offered through various private and public means  Insurance companies control costs via managed care o Managed Care – any medical insurance plan that controls costs through monitoring and controlling the decisions of health care providers o Medicaid – a public health insurance program, jointly funded by the federal and state governments, that provides health insurance coverage for the poor who meet eligibility req.  Medicare consists of 4 separate programs: 1) Part A – hospital insurance for inpatient care (free) – enrollees pay deductible & co-payment 2) Part B – supplementary medical insurance program – helps pay physician, outpatient & other services – enrollees pay monthly premium & co-payment for services  Voluntary/not free 3) Part C – allows beneficiaries purchase private supplementary insurance – receive payments from Medicare 4) Part D – outpatient drug benefit – voluntary & requires enrollees pay monthly premium, meet annual deductible, pay coinsurance for prescription o State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) – a public health insurance program, jointly funded by the federal and state governments, that provides health insurance coverage for children whose families meet income eligibility standards o Military Health System (MHS) – the federal; entity that provides medical care in military hospitals and clinical, and in combat zones and at bases overseas and on ships, and that provides health insurance known as Tricare to active duty service members, military retirees, their eligible family members, and survivors. o Veterans Health Administration (VHA) – A system of hospitals, clinics, counseling centers and long-term care facilities that provides care to military veterans. o Indian Health Service – a federal agency that provides health services to members of 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and their descendants 4 Problems in U.S. Health Care  Three main problems in U.S. Health Care: 1) Inadequate Health Insurance Coverage 2) The High Cost of Health Insurance 3) Inadequate Mental Health Care  Federal Emergency Medical Treatment & Active Labor Act req. hospitals – assess all patients who come to emergency rooms to determine emergency medical condition exists o Deinstitutionalization – the removal of individuals with psychiatric disorders from mental hospitals and large residential institutions to outpatient community mental health centers. Strategies for Action: Improving Health and Health Care  Political opposition to Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) - Republicans and Tea Party members efforts in Congress repeal law  Supreme Court ruled states may opt out of Medicaid expansion provision of ACA  Congress wants to improves ACA rather than repeal it o Single-payer Health Care – a health care system in which a single tax-financed public insurance program replaces private insurance companies  Bill to create a single-payer health care system – Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act, replace private insurance companies w/ one public agency pay for medical care for all Americans Understanding Problems of Illness and Health Care  Gap in health b/w rich and poor remain wide  Poverty most powerful social factor affecting health, other social factors affect health:  globalization  increased longevity  family structure  gender  education  race/ethnicity  Sociological approach to illness & health care - social solutions  Federal  State 5  Local government policies  Laws designed to improve public health  Examines conflicts b/w public health initiatives  Industries whose profits might be threatened by such initiatives 6


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