Some ill participants may have been habitually inactive, but the sick role
may also have a part to play in this activity gap, whereby the very fact of being ill influences an individuals' tendency to exercise.
"There's more of an overt feigning of symptoms in order to maintain that sick role
," said Dr.
Within the former, patients were expected to comply with the sick role
, associated with seclusion, absolution from work and familial burdens, exemption from responsibility and an obligation to get better and return to their lives.
The author offers a critical approach to the sociology of health, illness, and health care that takes into account the role of power, emphasizing research that questions assumptions about these areas, such as the concept of a sick role
that minimizes aspects of individual lives other than the time they spend as patients, as well as assumptions about patient compliance and medical treatments.
The fourth chapter offers Dingwall's rethinking of Parsons' sick role
, demonstrating that the allocation of funding to health care relies on this liberal conception of individual obligations.
As shown in the inset, these include the potential that receiving a medical disability rating may incentivize "sick role
" behavior, financial compensation for disability may foster symptom exaggeration, and the multilayer administrative and clinical processes may cause extended lengths of stay, perhaps beyond the ideal time required for rehabilitation goals to be reached.
Medical social control has been said to emerge from medicine as an agent of social control (1) as evidenced by the sick role
. Subsequently, sociologists such as Freidson (2) and Zola (3) have argued that medicine has taken on jurisdictional control over anything labelled as illness.
One of the aspects which become very much evident in this novel is the sick role
. For instance, in some occasions Peter was examined by different medical specialists, and one of his concerns was not to appear to be very cleaver as he perceived that his position was considered rather inferior in that centre.
(p 237) In Szaszian terms this implies someone impersonating a person with a physical illness, but which might be better construed as someone fulfilling a sick role
and thereby 'impersonating' a [physically] sick person.
The motives include gaining of sympathy and attention by experiencing the sick role
. Another variant of this condition, Munchausen by proxy, usually involves the parents fabricating their children's symptoms, in order to solicit attention and sympathy from healthcare practitioners or to subject their "proxies" to unnecessary medical tests.3 Both of these conditions not only put the subject's own life at stake (as his attempts at feigning symptoms may prove to be fatal), but are also a major concern for the healthcare system of a country,
I am fortunate to be working in what is essentially a communicable diseases (TB/HIV) ward, and I am startled by the growing problems of treatment interruptions, delayed presentations, and the strong desire by many to assume the sick role
right alongside the most stoic of individuals.
Source: Posted April 9, 2012, by Stone Hearth News from "The Labeling Paradox: Stigma, the Sick Role
, and Social Networks in Mental Illness" from the Journal of Health & Social Behavior, a quarterly, medical sociology journal.