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Ansvar, hälsa och människa: en studie av idéer om individens ansvar för sin hälsa
Linköping University, Department of Department of Health and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

That people should take responsibility for their health is a prominent contemporary idea. But what does such responsibility actually entail, and what demands are being put on people? The objective of the dissertation is to describe and critically examine various ideas on personal responsibility for health. In the first step, I identify and describe a wide variation of uses of responsibility and in the second step, I problematize them. The analyzed material consists of Swedish government reports and various types of health advice literature, including medical books and alternative medicine literature. I employ a framework of philosophical, social scientific, and developmental psychology theories on responsibility to critically examine the material.

The study shows that taking responsibility involves both body and mind. Common ideas are that it requires maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing one's self-care. But it is also considered important to take responsibility for beliefs and emotions and to adopt an accepting attitude. Another idea is that spiritual insights expand the scope of responsibility. Some important abilities required to take responsibility are conscious healthy choices, self-knowledge, and critical thinking. The view of responsibility is also influenced by individual factors, cultural beliefs about health and disease, and social structures. In the literature, health responsibility is regarded both as a social duty and as a never-ending task performed by an active individual.

Finally, I use Robert Kegan's theory of adult development to show that taking responsibility imposes psychological demands on people's awareness. The demands are often higher than many people can manage. Some of the stress and poor health that people experience may be the product of an inability to manage all of life's demands. The developmental perspective also asserts that people can develop the requisite capacity. One conceivable conclusion of the study is that if we want people to take more responsibility, we should not only invest resources in health information, but also in measures that generate self-knowledge, reflection, and personal development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2005. , p. 238
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 318Linköping Dissertations on Health and Society, ISSN 1651-1646 ; 7
Keywords [be]
Responsibility, health, patient empowerment, adult development, popular medical books, complementary medicine, body-mind. self-knowledge, health promotion
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143129ISBN: 9185297690 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-143129DiVA, id: diva2:1158743
Public defence
2005-04-22, Aulan, Hus 240, Campus US, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-21 Created: 2017-11-21 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Ansvar, hälsa och människa: en studie av idéer om individens ansvar för sin hälsa(878 kB)72 downloads
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Department of Department of Health and SocietyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and EpidemiologySocial Sciences Interdisciplinary

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Citation style
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