Cover

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

Suppose a book appears, as this one does, under the name of a single author. This curious selective recognition of one person who happened to put together a number of ideas and write them down in a certain way obscures the efforts and contributions of many others. It conjures images of the lone scholar diligently producing "a work." But,...

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xxiii

In addition to conventional Western medicine, there are a great number and variety of systems of health belief and practice active in the United States today. Far from dying out in the face of advances in scientific medicine, many nonbiomedical health belief systems are growing in popularity. Included among these are both long-standing...

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1. Denning and Understanding Health Belief Systems

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pp. 1-34

Throughout this century and even before, there has been a general assumption—even a conviction—in the health professions and in academia that folk and popular systems of health beliefs and practices would inevitably decline in modern and industrialized societies, falling away before the forces of modernization and progress to be replaced...

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2. Critical Approaches to Literature and Theories

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pp. 35-79

To arrive at any sort of comprehensive understanding of vernacular health belief systems it is necessary to be able to connect them with a theoretical understanding of belief in general, as well as with an understanding of culture and the cultural frameworks with which all belief systems are interconnected. Belief and behavior are strongly culturally...

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3. Hmong Cultural Values, Biomedicine, and Chronic Liver Disease

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pp. 80-109

In the past decade, scholars of many disciplines concerned with healthcare in complex societies have paid increasing attention to the importance of matters of culture and worldview in health care delivery. The education and training of health professionals in the United States, however, does not yet incorporate much of this information or ...

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4. Vernacular Health Care Responses to HIV and AIDS

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pp. 109-160

Sicknesses that do not respond well to conventional medical care, or for which few conventional treatment options exist, frequently motivate people to develop purposive self-care routines and to explore a range of forms of potential treatment. Serious illnesses with poor prognoses may especially quickly lead people to expand their health...

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5. Implications for the Health Professions

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pp. 161-195

The immediate message of the foregoing chapters is that nonbiomedical health belief systems are alive and well; that they are in very common use by all kinds of people; and that health professionals should ask patients about them and expect to find them among their patients' healing resources. The larger message this phenomenon evokes is that...

Appendix: Practical Tools

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pp. 197-223

Glossary

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pp. 225-234

Bibliography

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pp. 235-279

Index

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pp. 281-287