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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Some issues in the planning and implementation of a holistic health care model for a primary health care setting in the United States Smith, Rodney E. (Rodney Edward)


It is argued that the holistic health care movement in the United States has emerged as a response to dissatisfactions with the existing health care delivery system—a system which has become too concerned with technological solutions and insufficiently concerned with social and psychosocial issues. The holistic health care movement is defined. The movement's emphasis on prevention through the use of teamwork and its concern with whole patient care is explained. Next consideration is given to the present process of planning, financing and delivering health services in the United States; and the other models which have been developed to try to take account of prevention, social and psychosocial issues are described and criticized. The way in which holistic health care needs to be organized is described—the need for involvement of allied health professionals such as nutritionists and psychologists is discussed and better record keeping is examined. The need to be open to new techniques such as acupuncture and other marginal activities is argued. The difficulties in financing are discussed. However, discussion of a model health center presently operating in Illinois gives hope that demonstrations may convince Americans that it is a service worth paying for. The method of introducing new models of health service delivery into the United States is examined. They are generally accepted by the upper-middle class and then work down through the system. It is argued that the model (holistic health care) is quite likely to become more widely accepted because it appeals to the American individualistic, selfhelp ideology. Whilst it may work itself down the class structure it is not likely to solve social problems because the orientation is psychosocial and individualistic.

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